QFD – Quality Function Deployment

QFD Quality Function Deployment Advice & Consulting

Quality Function Deployment, or QFD for short, is a method developed in Japan to develop tailor-made products and processes that trigger that certain “aha experience” for customers – finally a product whose performance profile exactly meets the customer’s needs. A product with exactly the properties that the customer wants and is ready to pay – no more, but also no less. Quality Function Deployment (QFD) helps to better understand the needs of the customer and thus to identify innovation potential. QFD reduces development costs and times. With the help of the QFD method, a comprehensive specification sheet is created, from which a complete and reliable specification sheet for development is worked out in the team. This significantly reduces the “flop risk” of a development.

The goals of QFD

  • Identify relevant customer needs
  • Derive the specifications / technical specification from the customer’s wishes
  • Shorten development times
  • Reduce development costs
  • Avoid corrections and rework

The area of ​​application of QFD

QFD is used in the early phase of the product development process. QFD is suitable for products, for manufacturing processes and also for business processes or services. The method is best carried out in the form of moderated workshops with cross-departmental teams.

The core element of the QFD methodology is the “House of Quality”. This is a combination of several matrices that are arranged in the shape of a house – hence the name. These matrices are processed in a given order and with a different focus on content. This means that the results are documented at the same time.

Key questions in the QFD:

  • Who is the customer?
  • WHAT does the customer expect?
  • HOW are the requirements met?
  • WHICH features are decisive for purchase?
  • HOW well do the competitor’s products meet the requirements?

The advantages of QFD

  • The relevant customer requirements are recognized at a very early stage in the product development process. Likewise, gaps in knowledge about the customer and his actual needs become apparent.
  • Products are developed with noticeably increased customer benefits that are closely based on customer requirements.
  • If there are several design variants to choose from, QFD helps to select those for which the customer is actually willing to pay.
  • The early involvement of the other areas of the company results in production-ready designs that are also accepted by sales and marketing.
  • Development times, costs and change effort are reduced.
  • Start-up and quality problems are reduced.
  • Interface losses are reduced and communication within the company is improved.
  • The entire project is comprehensible and fully documented.

Experience with QFD

Two key questions should be answered at the beginning of any QFD project: “Who is the customer?” and “Who is the decision maker?” Without clarification and the resulting common, uniform understanding, efficiency and time losses often result in project work.
That is why we work out a clear market definition and market segmentation in the projects with the team. This makes project work easier and provides the basis for the respective sales and marketing strategy.

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