God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference. (Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr)

Quality Function Deployment

Quality function deployment (QFD) is a “method to transform user demands into design quality, to deploy the functions forming quality, and to deploy methods for achieving the design quality into subsystems and component parts, and ultimately to specific elements of the manufacturing process.” (Wikipedia).

The typical steps in QFD are:

  1. Identify customer needs and wants
  2. Assign weights to the customer needs
  3. Determine potential engineering metrics that can measure the effectiveness of a product's fulfillment of the customer needs
  4. Rate each engineering metric on the effectiveness of that metric in measurement of the need. Usually done with a 1, 3 or 9 with 9 meaning a perfect measurement, 3 being a good measurement, and a 1 being a poor measurement (0 or blank for not applicable for the need).
  5. Calculate the weighted score for each engineering metric through the sum of the need weights * metric ratings.
  6. Rank order the engineering metrics in descending order. The best measures of the most important needs come first.
  7. Measure your and competitor's products using the best engineering metrics. Analyze technical gaps and opportunities.
  8. Obtain market feedback on the customer perception of your and competitor's products on their satisfaction of each customer need. Gaps and misperceptions can create ideas and opportunties.