All entries for Thursday 06 February 2020

February 06, 2020

Quality Function Deployment

QDF is a rigour and logic tool to transfer customer requirements into technical characteristics that is also useful for decision-making.

The aim for QFD I think is to raise questions for further investigation. Also, it gives sound evidence to show how you reach the desired result step by step that so that it seems to be unarguable and super persuasive.

It includes the voice of customers, the information of competitors' products, the opinions from the experts in particular fileds, as well as the current capability of the company.

There are three relationships need to be considered:

1. customer requirement VS technical characteristics

2. the correlation between technical characteristics

3.The regulation control VS technical characteristics

And the amazing thing is we don't need to thinking about a solution at that moment at all, because people usually jump into a fix solution before fully understanding what the problems are. As for picking up a solution, another effective tool is Pugh Matrix which is much easier than the QFD.

There is a simple version of QFD called Customer Voice Table but it losts the ensential logic throughout the process which I think may be the best trait of the QFD Matrix.


But there are also some limitations in QFD:

1. the result highly depends on the opinions from experts in different particular fileds, which may be difficult to reach for a small start-up.

2. The completation of QFD matrix require a significant amount of time and energy from all the people in the cross-functional team, which means it is highly demanding in the leadership and commiment of the top manager.

3. Once the customer need to change something, there could be huge operation afterwards which means it is not very flexible.


The CSF for the successful deployment of QFD is having an effective facilitator who is not necessarily to be a pro in product or engineering filed.

Finally, it may look a little bit daunting at first but once you are following the flow you will see how magic it is.

qfd


Customer Requirement Elicitation

For any NPD project, the primary topic is the voice of customers, so how to capture the customer requirement?

According to the Kano Model, there are three categories in the customer requirements.

1. something customers didn't say which are the basic quality of a product. For example, a car must have wheels.

2. customer said exactly what they want but it is not enough to meet just what they said. Nothing more, nothing less, well why not choose another supplier?

3. something customer don't even know but when they see the product, they would be amazed.

kano model


There are two common mistakes within organisations:

1. The raw data from customers are only blocked in a certain departments, but all the other teams, even the product managers can only be shared with the processed data that are intepreted by the sales people. It is similar like the game Chinese whisper, does the information you shared are the things customers want or that YOU think customers might want.

2. The NPD process is a journey with cross-functional team that every one shold have right say some thing to the development of the product. In the most cases, people may think well they have no idea about customers or products at all which is absolutely a bias. Any team work should be free from Ego.


What is vital for the new product development

Common Sense seems to be uncommon

NPD

1. It is quite difficult to capture and elicit the customer requirements during the design process, but ironically few companies commit themselves to put enough time and resources into that stage which is the culprit of many potential crises fires in the future. They rushed to be the first one into the market, however, is it advantageous to be the first one or the better one?

2. Basically, for any new product development process, the cost is lower at the very design stage than any later stages.

3. Ask yourself how much time and money did you spend on the design stage? And how much money takes you to cease the fire happened again and again.

4. The tricky thing is even though many companies could understand the point, but still do the same as the common organisation B. What are the hinders of that?

  • Finance-Driven, pay more attention to how much money we need to pay before we actually get something.
  • Eager to be the first player on that market but the world is super bigger than we imagined.

5. It supposed to be difficult to be a world-class, otherwise they're full of world-classes. It starts changing from the mindset of the top leader and then a group of cross-functional team.




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