What is Quality Function Deployment (QFD), and Why Should We Use It?

LEAN technique quality function deployment is more useful for Black Belt practitioners than for Six Sigma Green Belts. It is a powerful tool for designing products or processes according to customer needs. QFD stands for Quality Function Deployment. It is part of the Define phase in the DMAIC structure, as briefly explained in the Six Sigma online training. It is one of the many LEAN techniques that are covered in Six Sigma Green Belt training. Let’s talk quality function deployment!
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Definition of Quality Function Deployment
Once customer expectations have been gathered, techniques like quality function deployment can then be used to connect the customer’s voice directly to internal processes. QFD is not only an important planning tool, but it also serves as a quality tool. It allows customers to be heard during the service development process leading to market entry.
Although there is no one definition of quality function deployment, the following is a general concept:
“Quality Function Deployment” is a system that translates and plans the VoC into quality characteristics of products, services, and processes in order to achieve customer satisfaction.
QFD History
In 1972, Yoji Akao & Shigeru Mizuno used the tool to design an oil tanker at Japan’s Kobe shipyards. Quality control methods were used to fix problems during or after production. This design tool was introduced to the United States by Don Clausing, MIT, in the mid-1980s. The automotive industry is a classic example of product design. Clausing tells the story of an engineer who wanted to place the emergency brake of a sports car in the middle of the door and seat. Customers tested the new hand brake placement and found that women driving in skirts had difficulties. The Quality Function Deployment revealed potential dissatisfaction about the location of this feature and it was scrapped.

QFD has many benefits
Quality Function Deployment, a powerful tool for prioritizing, combines multiple types of matrices to create a house-like structure.
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a customer-driven process that plans products and services.
It all starts with the voice and needs of the customer.
Quality Function Deployment is documentation that supports the decision-making process.
QFD allows you to: Translate customer requirements into specific offering specifications
Prioritize the possible offering specifications and make tradeoff decisions based upon customer requirements and ranked competitive assessments.

The QFD technique is based upon the analysis of clients’ requirements. These are usually expressed in qualitative terms such as “easy to use”, safe, comfortable, or luxurious. To develop a service, it’s necessary to “translate” these fuzzy requirements into quantitative service design requirements. QFD makes this possible. QFD is also a method for designing a product or service that is based on customer requirements. It moves from customer specifications to product or service specifications. QFD involves all employees in the design and control activities. QFD also provides documentation to support the decision-making process
QFD House of Quality Matrices
QFD matrices, also known as “the house of Quality”, are visual representations of the results of the planning process. QFD matrices can show process priorities and competitive targets. They may also be very varied. Inte