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.