Understanding Quality Function Deployment (QFD)

  1. Process improvement tools
  2. Analytical tools
  3. Quality function deployment (QFD)

Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a strategic process improvement tool that helps businesses understand customer needs and turn them into actionable product and service designs. QFD helps companies gain competitive advantage by delivering products and services that meet customer requirements better than the competition. With QFD, businesses can identify the most important customer requirements and develop a plan to meet or exceed those requirements. In this article, we'll explore how Quality Function Deployment works, how it can help businesses improve their products and services, and how it can be implemented in different industries.

Understanding Quality Function Deployment is essential for any business that wants to remain competitive in today's market. By understanding QFD, businesses can develop better products and services that meet customer needs more effectively. With QFD, companies can make sure their products are designed to satisfy the customer's needs and preferences before the product is released. This article will provide an overview of Quality Function Deployment, explain its benefits, and provide some tips for implementing QFD in your own business.

What is Quality Function Deployment (QFD)?

Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a process improvement tool used to help organizations meet customer needs.

It is a structured approach that helps organizations identify customer requirements, create product designs, and develop plans for achieving customer satisfaction. QFD is composed of four primary processes: House of Quality, Quality Function Deployment Matrix, Activity Network Analysis, and Design of Experiments. The goal of QFD is to improve customer satisfaction by analyzing customer requirements, designing products that meet those requirements, and developing plans for implementation. QFD is an important tool for improving product design, ensuring quality, and achieving customer satisfaction. It helps organizations understand the customer's needs and provides an effective way to translate those needs into product design.

QFD also helps organizations identify areas for improvement and prioritize the development of new products. Additionally, QFD can be used to optimize product designs and ensure quality throughout the product lifecycle.

Tools and Resources Available To Help Organizations Use QFD Effectively

Organizations that have adopted Quality Function Deployment (QFD) have access to a variety of tools and resources that can help them use QFD effectively. These tools and resources include software, training courses, and books. Software is a powerful tool for helping organizations use QFD effectively.

It can simplify the process of creating and managing QFD matrices, and it can help organizations track changes to their QFD matrices over time. Many software packages are available, ranging from free open-source packages to expensive enterprise-level solutions. Training courses are also available for those who want to learn more about QFD. These courses can be taken in person or online, and they can provide an overview of QFD principles and best practices.

Finally, books on QFD are available for those who want to learn more about the topic. These books provide an in-depth look at the principles and practice of QFD, and they can be a valuable resource for those who are looking to gain a better understanding of how to use QFD effectively.

The History and Development of QFD

Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a process improvement tool that has its roots in the 1950s. It was developed by Shigeru Mizuno, a Japanese engineer, in response to the growing demand for high-quality products.

He sought to create a system that could help organizations identify and meet customer needs. Mizuno's approach was to use a house of quality, which is a matrix-based system that visualizes customer needs and allows engineers to develop a product that meets those needs. The house of quality consists of four matrices: technical requirements, customer requirements, competitive assessment, and design parameters. The system was further developed by Yoji Akao and later by Genichi Taguchi, who added concepts such as robust design and cost-effectiveness.

In the 1980s, the system was adapted for use in the US, where it became known as Quality Function Deployment (QFD). Since then, QFD has been used in many industries such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, and healthcare, and has been adapted for use in service-related industries as well. Today, QFD is an important tool for helping organizations identify customer needs, develop products that meet those needs, and improve their overall quality.

How to Implement QFD

Implementing Quality Function Deployment (QFD) requires setting up a team and creating a timeline.

When creating a team, it is important to include people from different departments and levels of the organization. These individuals should have an understanding of customer needs and how to best meet them. It is also important to create a timeline for the QFD process. This timeline should include steps such as analyzing customer needs, creating a design plan, and testing the design.

It is important to ensure that each step is completed in a timely manner and that any issues are addressed quickly. Once the team has been assembled and the timeline set, the team can begin to analyze customer needs. This analysis involves looking at customer feedback and data to identify what customers are looking for in a product or service. Once these needs have been identified, the team can begin to create a design plan. The design plan should include details such as the features of the product or service, the materials used, and the cost of production.

The plan should also include strategies for meeting customer needs. Once the plan has been created, the team can begin testing it. Testing should involve creating prototypes and conducting customer surveys. These tests will help the team understand how well their design meets customer needs and make any necessary changes.

After testing has been completed, the team can move forward with production.

The Benefits of Using QFD

Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a process improvement tool used to ensure customer needs are met by a product or service. It has become increasingly popular due to its ability to identify customer requirements and to improve the efficiency of the design process. By utilizing QFD, organizations can reap several benefits, such as improved customer satisfaction, increased efficiency, and reduced costs. One of the primary advantages of using QFD is improved customer satisfaction. By understanding customer needs and requirements, organizations can better meet customer expectations.

Additionally, QFD can help increase customer loyalty by ensuring customer feedback is incorporated into product design and development. This helps create a more personalized experience for customers and results in improved customer satisfaction. Using QFD can also help increase the efficiency of the design process. By analyzing customer feedback, organizations can quickly identify areas where improvements can be made. This can result in faster product development and delivery, resulting in cost savings for the organization.

Additionally, QFD provides organizations with an understanding of customer preferences, allowing for more accurate market positioning and sales strategies. Finally, using QFD can reduce costs for an organization. By understanding customer needs and requirements, organizations can better optimize their resources and reduce waste. This can result in cost savings in terms of time, money, and materials. Additionally, by utilizing QFD, organizations can more accurately forecast customer demand, allowing them to better manage inventory levels. In summary, Quality Function Deployment (QFD) provides organizations with numerous benefits.

By understanding customer needs and requirements, organizations can improve customer satisfaction and increase efficiency. Additionally, using QFD can help reduce costs for the organization by optimizing resources and reducing waste. Ultimately, implementing QFD can provide organizations with numerous advantages.

Examples of Companies That Have Successfully Used QFD

QFD has been applied to a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, finance, and healthcare. Below are some examples of successful implementation of QFD.


Toyota Motor Corporation was one of the first companies to successfully implement QFD.

In the late 1980s, Toyota developed a QFD process to design and manufacture vehicles that met customer needs. The process focused on customer satisfaction, quality, cost and delivery time. Toyota used QFD to identify customer needs and develop an action plan for meeting them. This allowed them to become one of the most successful automakers in the world.


Sony Corporation has also successfully implemented QFD.

Sony used QFD to create a product development process that was based on customer feedback. They identified customer needs, developed a product design that met those needs, and then used QFD to ensure that the product was manufactured to meet customer expectations. This enabled them to produce high-quality products that were in demand by customers.


Honda Motor Company also adopted QFD to improve its product development process. Honda identified customer needs and developed a product that was designed to meet those needs.

They then used QFD to ensure that the product was manufactured according to the specifications they had identified. This allowed Honda to produce high-quality vehicles that were in demand by customers.


Microsoft Corporation also successfully used QFD to develop software products that met customer needs. Microsoft identified customer needs and developed a software design that was based on those needs. They then used QFD to ensure that the software was developed according to the specifications they had identified.

This enabled Microsoft to produce high-quality software products that were in demand by customers.

Common Challenges With QFD and How To Overcome Them

Implementing Quality Function Deployment (QFD) can be a complex process for companies, as it involves many stakeholders and requires a deep understanding of customer needs. There are several common challenges that organizations should be aware of when implementing QFD. These include:Lack of Resources: QFD requires a significant amount of time and resources to properly implement. Organizations may not have the resources necessary to dedicate to developing a QFD process.

Additionally, the organization may not have the personnel with the necessary skill set to effectively carry out the process.

Data Collection:

Data collection is a critical part of the QFD process, and organizations must ensure that they have access to accurate and up-to-date customer data. This can be difficult to obtain, as customers may not be willing to share information or may not have the necessary data available.


The QFD process involves many stakeholders, and it is important that they all be on the same page when it comes to the customer’s needs. If there is a lack of communication between stakeholders, then it could lead to miscommunication and delays in the implementation process.

How To Overcome Challenges:

Organizations should take steps to ensure that they are adequately prepared for the QFD process.

This includes making sure that they have the necessary resources and personnel available, as well as ensuring that they have access to accurate customer data. Additionally, it is important for organizations to establish clear lines of communication between stakeholders so that there is a unified understanding of customer needs. By taking these steps, organizations can ensure that they are adequately prepared for the QFD process.

How Does QFD Work?

Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a process improvement tool used to ensure organizations meet customer needs. It works by using a set of structured processes and techniques to analyze customer requirements and develop strategies to meet those requirements.

QFD is typically used for product and service design, but can also be applied to other areas such as marketing, customer service, and operations. The basic steps of QFD are:1.Understanding the customer:The first step in QFD is to understand the customer’s needs and expectations. This involves gathering data from customers through surveys, interviews, focus groups, or other methods. The data collected is used to create a “voice of the customer” document, which outlines the customer’s specific requirements.

2.Developing a House of Quality:

The second step is to develop a House of Quality (HOQ), which is a matrix that organizes customer requirements into different categories. This helps organizations identify relationships between customer requirements and prioritize them based on their importance.

The HOQ also includes a list of design criteria, which can be used to guide product and service design.

3.Identifying gaps and opportunities:

The third step is to identify gaps and opportunities in the organization’s current products or services. This involves comparing the customer requirements with the organization’s current offerings and identifying any areas where there is an opportunity for improvement or innovation.

4.Developing solutions:

The fourth step is to develop solutions for meeting customer needs. This can involve creating new products or services, improving existing ones, or changing processes or systems within the organization.

5.Implementing solutions:

The fifth and final step is to implement the solutions developed in step four. This involves testing the solutions and making any necessary changes before they are rolled out to customers. QFD is an effective tool for helping organizations meet customer needs and stay ahead of the competition.

By understanding customer requirements, developing strategies to meet those requirements, and implementing solutions, organizations can ensure they are providing customers with the best possible experience. In conclusion, Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a powerful process improvement tool used by organizations to meet customer needs. It helps to identify customer requirements, prioritize them and develop specific actions to meet those needs. Its history and development have enabled it to become a popular choice for organizations seeking to improve their processes. QFD can be a challenging tool to implement but with the right resources, organizations can overcome those challenges and use QFD to its full potential.

Examples of companies that have successfully used QFD demonstrate the value of this process improvement tool. Organizations interested in learning more about Quality Function Deployment (QFD) should look for additional resources and tools available online. With the right guidance and understanding, QFD can be a valuable process improvement tool for any organization.

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