Chapter 13. Quality Function Deployment
Quality function deployment (QFD) is a structured approach for product/project planning and development that focuses on the "voice of the customer" as the key element in the design and development process. It is also one of the cornerstones of the Six Sigma process. Many businesses think that constructing a high-quality product, by their own standards, defines product or process quality. Nothing could be further from the truth. America's foremost business philosopher and writer, Peter Drucker, said it succinctly:
Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe. This is incompetence. Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality.
The QFD process recognizes this fact and places the customer's needs first in the process and then determines how the technical qualifications and competing products meet that need so that the business can do a better job of meeting the customer's needs. Developed by Dr. Shigeru Mizuno and Dr. Yoji Akao in the mid-1960s, the first reported case study of QFD was originally utilized at Bridgestone Tire in Japan in 1966. Further implementations occurred at Matsushita Corporation in the late 1960s and at Mitsubishi's Kobe shipyards in Japan in 1972. Since that time it has been ...