WHAT IS QFD ANYWAY?
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a systematic and proven method for translating customer needs into measureable product specifications.
The centerpiece of QFD is the "House of Quality" matrix, which is a detailed map of the interactions between customer needs and the metrics that determine if those needs are satisfied. During the QFD process, the design team works through the House of Quality, first identifying the relevant performance measurements, and then determining which of those measurements are most closely associated with customer needs. The result is a prioritized list of engineering characteristics or performance measures.
QFD begins with a customer-prioritized list of product needs - derived from the Voice of the Customer - and applies team-based problem-solving exercises to develop a prioritized list of performance specifications. At the top of the list are the specifications most closely correlated with customer satisfaction, and therefore most critical in enhancing competitive advantage. Having completed a QFD, your design team will have the foundation for a tactical plan to guide its development efforts.
The Harvard Business Review article, "The House of Quality," by AMS co-founder John Hauser and fellow MIT professor Don Clausing remains the clearest description of QFD. Please click here to request a copy. Click here to learn about QFD vs. Customer Metrics.
How AMS can help
Over the past 20 years, AMS has facilitated QFD in nearly every type of industry. We have worked with product-intensive companies in high-tech markets like medical-devices, restaurant equipment, as well as consumer packaged goods and office furniture. Likewise, we have implemented QFD at leading services firms, including health insurance, financial services, telecommunications, and electric utilities. For a list of AMS clients, please click here.
During a QFD engagement, AMS consultants work on-site as members of your product development team, to design, execute, and interpret the House of Quality matrix. We take on much of the legwork of managing the QFD process, thereby freeing your team from the time-consuming tasks that must occur to make QFD a success.
Most clients hire us to manage their team's QFD process following completion of a VOCALYST® engagement. Having collected and analyzed the Voice of the Customer, our team can ensure that the QFD process remains faithful to what the customer actually said.
For more information on how QFD can help your team, please contact us.