Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a team-based
systematic and iterative process used to address and fine tune the requirements
and needs of customers. The primary goal is satisfying the customer's
requirements. Once the customer's requirements are identified, they are then
translated into specifications for product planning, design, process and
production. QFD is a team approach to determine objectives, the best method to
accomplish the objectives, the process to be used, and the resources needed.
A major benefit of QFD is that communication is enhanced
throughout the product development process. This enhanced communication leads to
a more effective decision-making process. Short-term benefits include reducing
cross-functional barriers associated with product development teams and aiding
changes in corporate culture. Long-term benefits include reduced development
costs, reduced overall cycle time, and increased productivity.
QFD can be used as a blueprint for implementing
Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD) (see Appendix
) and to
reduce lead-times, startup costs, and engineering changes. It is also used to
develop new products and services.
The QFD process is a structured procedure that begins
with identifying the qualities desired by the customer and then the steps and
means necessary to provide the product. It enables a great deal of information
to be summarized in the form of easy-to-interpret charts. The process uses a
series of interrelated matrices to convert customer needs to process steps.
QFD matrices relate the data produced in one stage to the decision that must
be made at the next process stage. The QFD House of Quality (Figure
F.5) shows the
process for developing these matrices.
The "What"s are the product characteristics, functions,
or level of performance wanted by the customer. The "How"s are the ways to
accomplish the "What"s. The "How to What" is the relative strength relationship
between the two. The "Importance Rating" denotes the importance of each "How."
Through this process, input from all team members is considered to develop an
overall recommendation on how to proceed to meet customer requirements.
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