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Quality Function Deployment (QFD) or House of Quality (HOQ) is a systematic design approach based on a close awareness of customer desires, coupled with the integration of corporate functional groups. It translates customer desires into design characteristics for each stage of the product development. Quality Function Deployment was developed by Yoji Akao in Japan in 1966


An application-oriented question on the topic along with responses can be seen below. The best answer was provided by Krutibas Biswal and Tushar Maradwar


Applause for all the respondents - Jagadesh Sekar, C S K Kumar, Krutibas Biswal, Tushar Maradwar


Q 273. In addition to its intended utilization in New Product Development, QFD has been helpful in some other ways. What are some of the ways in which QFD (and its derived methods) has been utilized?


Note for website visitors - Two questions are asked every week on this platform. One on Tuesday and the other on Friday.

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5 answers to this question

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Quality Function Deployment - 


A  method  used  to  translate  voice  of  the  customer  information  into  product  requirements/CTQs  and  to  continue  deployment   (for  example,  cascading)  of  requirements  to  parts  and  process  requirements. This is also called as House of Quality.



Methods associated with QFD

          FAST - Function Analysis System Technique

          FMEA - Failure Mode Effects Analysis

          FTA - Fault Tree Analysis

          DoE - Design of Experiments

          VAVE - Value Analysis/Value Engineering

          MCA - Measurement Capability Analysis

          GDT - Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing

          CpK - Process Capability Study

          DFA - Design for Assembly

          DFM - Design for Manufacturing

          SPC - Statistical Process Control

          CPR - Cost Price Ratio

          CPM - Customer Process Matrix


QFD Deployment Process


Level A - Customer Requirements vs. Design Features


          Gather customer requirements for all types of customers.

          Specify performance level desired and achieved.

          Provide competitive assessment of features and functions.

          Relate customer requirements to design features.


Level B - Design Features vs. Part Characteristics


          Specify how to deliver design features.

          Identify critical performance factors.

          Link design features to specifications.

          Track development of design maturity.


Level C - Part Characteristics vs. Process Characteristics

          Specify part features.

          Set critical parameters.

          Fix part tolerances.

          Establish control limits.

Level D - Process Characteristics vs. Operating System


          Identifies supplier control plan.

          Identifies special test equipment.

          Specifies work instructions.

          Identifies operator training requirements.


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What is QFD??

QFD was first coined by Yoji Akao in the late 1960s ,when he was working for Mitsubishi’s shipyard in Japan. The basic idea behind this method is to take into serious consideration the Voice of customers, so that it can be translated to engineering characteristics of the product and service and after that plans to produce the products that fulfil customer requirements.

QFD is used to translate voice of customer into measureable design targets and drive it from start to end of product (e.g. final assembly level to the sub-assembly, component and production process levels)

Following fig 1 self explains broad level Block Diagram of QFD, where Customer wants is at left hand side , Product requirement and correlation matrix at Top and Relationship matrix at mid of the area.  


The main goal of QFD is to maximise the satisfaction of customer by making the required trade offs of several design features of a product or service.



What are some of the ways in which QFD has been utilized?

QFD is not only for New product development , it can be apply in a wide variety of areas e.g.

Product design,
Alternative Transportation System
Engineering ,
IT (Information Technology)
Service industry
Business planning
Packaging and Logistics
Sales and Service
Education improvement
Hotel industry
Quality improvement
Quality Management
Consumer Products


By below example we can understand how QFD has been utilize in Alternate Transportation system to understand customer wants and successfully fulfilled it.



Refer to figure here voice of customer was to implement Alternate Transportation system or Paratransit System to rural areas so they will get pick up from desired location and drop at required place. As this was new system many issues had to be solved, and it would need a new Organisation, Vehicles, Drivers, Offices, a Dispatcher, Electronic Devices, Powerful Computer Systems and Sophisticated Software for the calculations of the optimal routes, good marketing and communication.The above customer “Wants” correlated in the relationship matrix with the Engineering Characteristics Hows”,which put on the centre top.

According to the relative weight of the “Wants”, as shown also in the graph Fig 1 in Appendix 1, the most important ones are to have the solution at the desired point departure and arrival to be collected on time and the system to have an attractive price . According to the Rank of the Engineering characteristics the most serious characteristic is the Application Cost which includes mainly the fixed assets cost and variable costs.

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QFD often used after new product development which is from feedback of consumers and customers.


That's make a team to develop and improve the product further more to reach out better performance

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In addition to new product development, QFD techniques for benchmarking can also be used in the services industry. Benchmarking facilitates the comparison with competitor's product or service in order to better understand the initial VOC in depth and allows for designing a new product or service with differentiators which could potentially make the new product or service better than the competitor's product or service.


Benchmarking is of following types :

1. Product : eg Lexus vs Merc and BMW

2. Functional: eg Ford borrowed from Toyota elements of the Toyota Production System

3. Best Practices: eg GE management practices in payroll, HR and employee engagement.

4. Strategic: overall business strategy. Eg: get rid of non performing parts of business and concentrate on core strengths, like BlackBerry concentrating on security products and easing away from mobile handset product development. 

5. Systemic : emphasis on environmental and social responsibility. Eg: IKEA sources 50% of wood from sustainable forests, 100% cotton from farms with Better Cotton Standards that mandate reduced water, energy and pesticides. IKEA has more than 700000 solar panels in its stores and has goals to be 100 % powered by renewables by 2020.

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There are two best answers to this question. One is from Krutibas Biswal for highlighting the concept of nested QFDs. Second is from Tushar Maradwar for providing multiple other application areas along with an example.

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