Quality function deployment
Quality function deployment (QFD) is a “method to transform user demands into design quality, 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, prioritizing each product or service characteristic while simultaneously setting development targets for product or service.
Areas of application 
QFD is applied in a wide variety of services, consumer products, military needs (such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter), and emerging technology products. The technique is also used to identify and document competitive marketing strategies and tactics (see example QFD House of Quality for Enterprise Product Development, at right). QFD is considered a key practice of Design for Six Sigma (DFSS - as seen in the referenced roadmap). It is also included in the new ISO 9000:2000 standard which focuses on customer satisfaction.
Results of QFD have been applied in Japan and elsewhere into deploying the high-impact controllable factors in Strategic planning and Strategic management (also known as Hoshin Kanri, Hoshin Planning ). Acquiring market needs by listening to the Voice of Customer (VOC), sorting the needs, and numerically prioritizing them (using techniques such as the Analytic Hierarchy Process) are the early tasks in QFD. Traditionally, going to the Gemba (the "real place" where value is created for the customer) is where these customer needs are evidenced and compiled.
While many books and articles on "how to do QFD" are available, there is a relative paucity of example matrices available. QFD matrices become highly proprietary due to the high density of product or service information found therein.
Techniques and tools based on QFD 
House of Quality 
House of Quality appeared in 1972 in the design of an oil tanker by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Akao has reiterated numerous times that a House of Quality is not QFD, it is just an example of one tool.
A Flash tutorial exists showing the build process of the traditional QFD "House of Quality" (HOQ). (Although this example may violate QFD principles, the basic sequence of HOQ building are illustrative.) There are also free QFD templates available that walk users through the process of creating a House of Quality.
Other tools extend the analysis beyond quality to cost, technology, reliability, function, parts, technology, manufacturing, and service deployments.
In addition, the same technique can extend the method into the constituent product subsystems, configuration items, assemblies, and parts. From these detail level components, fabrication and assembly process QFD charts can be developed to support statistical process control techniques.
Pugh concept selection 
Pugh Concept Selection can be used in coordination with QFD to select a promising product or service configuration from among listed alternatives.
Modular Function Deployment 
Modular Function Deployment uses QFD to establish customer requirements and to identify important design requirements with a special emphasis on modularity. There are three main differences to QFD as applied in Modular Function Deployment compared to House of Quality:
- The benchmarking data is mostly gone.
- The checkboxes and crosses have been replaced with circles.
- The triangular “roof” is missing.
There are also other minor differences between the application of QFD in Modular Function Deployment as compared to House of Quality, for example the term "Customer Attribute" is replaced by "Customer Value", and the term "Engineering Characteristics" is replaced by "Product Properties". But the terms have similar meanings in the two applications.
Relationship to other techniques 
The QFD-associated Hoshin Kanri process somewhat resembles Management by objectives (MBO), but adds a significant element in the goal setting process, called "catchball". Use of these Hoshin techniques by U.S. companies such as Hewlett Packard have been successful in focusing and aligning company resources to follow stated strategic goals throughout an organizational hierarchy.
Since the early introduction of QFD, the technique has been developed to shorten the time span and reduce the required group efforts.
- Akao, Yoji (1994). "Development History of Quality Function Deployment". The Customer Driven Approach to Quality Planning and Deployment. Minato, Tokyo 107 Japan: Asian Productivity Organization. p. 339. ISBN 92-833-1121-3.
- http://www.c2c-solutions.com/pdfs/eQFDRoadmap.pdf QFD/DFSS Roadmap and flowchart
- Strategic Planning With Hoshin
- HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW, The House of Quality by John R. Hauser and Don Clausing, May–June 1988
- QFD FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about QFD
- QFD tutorial
- QFD Online - Free House of Quality (QFD) Templates for Excel
- Cost / worth analysis was one method developed to determine if the worth of the parts (in meeting customer requirements) justifies the costs of the part. http://design4x.com/courses.html
- Börjesson, Fredrik; Jiran, Scott. "The Generation of Modular Product Architecture Deploys a Pragmatic Version of Quality Function Deployment". Retrieved 2 November 2012.