Quality function deployment (QFD) is a “method wily to transform qualitative user demands into quantitative parameters, 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.”, as described by Dr. Yoji Akao, who originally developed QFD in Japan in 1966, when the author combined his work in quality assurance and quality control points with function deployment used in value engineering.
QFD is designed to help planners focus on characteristics of a new or existing product or service from the viewpoints of market segments, company, or technology-development needs. The technique yields charts and matrices.
QFD helps transform customer needs (the voice of the customer [VOC]) into engineering characteristics (and appropriate test methods) for a product or service, prioritising each product or service characteristic while simultaneously setting development targets for product or service.
QFD is applied in a wide variety of services, consumer products, military needs, and emerging technology products. The technique is also included in the new ISO 9000:2000 standard which focuses on customer satisfaction.
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