Quality Function Deployment

A visual decision-making procedure for cross-functional product project teams that develops a common understanding of customer needs (the “voice of the customer”) and a consensus on the final engineering specifications of the product to meet those needs that has the commitment of the entire team.

QFD integrates the perspectives of team members from different disciplines, ensures that their efforts are focused on resolving key trade-offs in a consistent manner against measurable performance targets for the product, and deploys these decisions through successive levels of detail. The use of QFD eliminates expensive backflows and rework as projects near launch.

A hallmark of QFD is the “house of quality” diagram that visually identifies spoken and unspoken needs of customers, translates them into actions and designs, and communicates them throughout the organization. It also allows customers to prioritize their requirements. Suppliers providing critical components are often involved in QFD sessions at the start of the design process.