Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and other Tools for Implementation

total quality management  Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and other Tools for Implementation

Tools for Quality Planning:

Customer’s needs and expectations drive the planning process for products and the systems by which they are produced. Marketing plays a key role in identifying customer expectations. That is what is known Voice of Customer in QFD or WHAT in a simple Matrix Diagram. Once these are identifies, managers must translate them into specific products and service specifications that manufacturing and service delivery processes of the organizations (Voice of Process in QFD or HOW in Matrix Diagram) must meet. In some cases the product or service that customers receive is quite different from what they expect. It is management’s responsibility to minimize such gaps. Firms use several tools and approaches to help them focus on their external and internal customers.

Matrix Diagram: These are spreadsheets that graphically display relationships between characteristics, functions, and tasks in such a way as to provide logical connecting points between each item. QFD is one of many matrix diagrams now used for planning and quality improvements.

Relations Diagram: Purpose of this tool is taken a central idea and map out logical or sequential links among related categories. Every idea can be logically linked with more than one idea at a time. It allows lateral rather than linear thinking.

Affinity Diagram: This is a technique for gathering and organizing a large number of ideas, opinions, and facts relating to a broad problem or subject area. It enables problem solvers to sift through large volumes of information efficiently and to identify natural patterns or grouping among information.

Tree Diagram: It maps out the paths and tasks that need to be accomplished to complete a specific project or to reach a specific goal.

Arrows Diagram: These have been used by construction planners for years in the form of CPM and PERT project planning techniques.

Process Decision Program Chart: This is a method for mapping out every conceivable event and contingency that can occur when moving from a problem statement to possible solutions. It is used to plan for each possible chain of events that could occur when a problem or goal is unfamiliar.

House of Quality or Quality Function Deployment: QFD is a methodology used to ensure that customer’s requirements are met throughout the product design process and in the design and operation of production systems. QFD is both a philosophy and a set of planning and communication tools that focuses on customer requirements in coordinating the design, manufacturing, and marketing of goods. A major benefit of QFD is improved communication and teamwork among all constituencies in the production process—- marketing and design, design and manufacturing/production, and purchasing and suppliers. QFD allows companies to bring new products into the market sooner and to gain competitive advantage.

QFD is an overall concept that provides a mean of translating customer requirements into appropriate technical requirements for each stage of product development and production. Voice of Customer is collection of all satisfiers, delighters/exciters and dissatisfiers i.e. WHAT part of a matrix that customers want from a product.

Under QFD, all operations of a company or Voice of Processes are driven by the voice of customer, rather than by top management or design engineer’s opinion. Technical features are the translation of the voice of customer into technical language. These are the HOW part in the matrix.

A set of matrices is used to relate in every stage of production. The basic planning document is called the customer requirement planning matrix. Because of its structure, it is often called as the House of Quality. Building it requires WHAT/HOW or VOC/VOP relations:

  • Identifying customer attributes
  • Identifying technical features
  • Relate attribute to technical features
  • Evaluating the competing product design
  • Evaluating technical features and the development of the targets
  • Determine / Decide which feature to deploy in the production process
  • Produce, market and collect data on customer satisfaction

Compare the VOC for a Burger with attributes of burger being tasty, healthy, visually appealing, and provide good value for money with VOP of company for Pricing of burger, its Size, and Fat/Lean value etc for final customer satisfaction and then deploy and deliver for a sustainable business of a fast food restaurant.

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