QFD for product & business development

Deming Management and QFD

Deming Management and QFD – Delighting Customers with Quality Function Deployment: Voice of Customer meets Voice of Process

The Influence of Dr. Deming in QFD

    Among Dr. Deming’s legacies are his 14 Points for Management, the red bead experiment and the System of Profound Knowledge. These permeate the QFD process in many ways. Elaboration of the 14 points shows the following

    1. Constancy of purpose in QFD means to improve tomorrow’s products to help people to live and work better – to bring value to the customer.
    3. QFD is a quality assurance approach by solving/preventing problems and creating positive
value during design and development. Inspection is used to validate that quality has been achieved and maintained.
    4. When customers seek a single source supplier we call that brand loyalty. QFD helps product developers understand which customer needs are key to repeat and referral business.
    5. Reducing waste and variation in “chief quality characteristics” is aided by QFD tools such as the House of Quality (HoQ) which quantifies which quality characteristics are critical to customer satisfaction. 6. Modern QFD implementation is custom tailored for each organization and training is done on real projects.
    7. Deming replaces supervision with leadership – developing stable systems that assure quality. QFD creates a reproducible process for identifying the intent of a new product and translating the intent into design and the actual product.
    8. Fear of knowledge is replaced by having customer satisfaction drive innovation and development.
    9. QFD promotes cross-functional teams consisting of marketing, sales, R&D, engineering, design, manufacturing and production, procurement, quality, service, etc.
    11. QFD is one of the methods to achieve numerical management goals for revenue, market share, profitability, etc. 12. Pride in a job well done, but in whose eyes? QFD clarifies what the customer needs and then translates that into key activities at every level and department in the organization.
    14. QFD diagrams how each stage in product development works with the next and preceding stages toward quality the customer will “boast about.”

Deming’s 14 Points
1. Create constancy of purpose for the improvement of product or service.
2. Adopt the new philosophy.
3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.
4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone. Instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier.
5. Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service.
6. Institute training on the job.
7. Adopt and institute leadership.
8. Drive out fear.
9. Break down barriers between staff areas.
10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force.
11. Eliminate numerical quotas for the work force and numerical goals for management.
12. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship. Eliminate the annual rating or merit system.
13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone.
14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation.

The Red Bead Experiment

Figure1 - Red bead experiment - Deming Management

Figure1 – Red bead experiment

     The Red Bead Experiment (Figure 1) was demonstrated by Dr. Deming to the Japanese (they misunderstood him and offered him beans instead). Deming showed the futility of rewarding or punishing production workers when the source of the undesirable red beads was the supplier selected and the process created by management. QFD might raise the question, though, why does the customer demand white beads? Could the specifications be wrong? What is their purpose? If the customer wishes to decorate a heart-shaped box of chocolates, perhaps the inclusion of red beads might be even more attractive to the consumer than just white beads. In other words, QFD encourages the product development team to go beyond stated customer specifications and understand the true needs underlying them. After all, customers may not be as expert in the supplier’s domain.

     System of Profound Knowledge is expressed by the “F” in QFD. Dr. Shigeru Mizuno, who cofounded QFD with Dr. Yoji Akao, applied function analysis to the product development organization in order to optimize its performance as a system. This is critical for cross-functional teams because though they may share a common project goal, they are evaluated and rewarded by their functional managers. In other words, a purchasing department goal for 10% cost reduction could conflict with a costly new product feature that delivers the most value to the customer. QFD can deploy customer needs into cost targets to justify the need to spend more on certain components in order to deliver maximum customer value.

by Glenn H. Mazur

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