How poor development happens?

When products and services do not fully meet customer, market or an organisation’s own expectations, it is typically because of some insufficiency or oversight in the designer’s thought-process. Fixing product specification problems too often become a post-launch activity, where with benefit of hindsight the designers can be heard saying: “Why didn’t we think about this earlier; it is so obvious and could so easily have been designed in from the very beginning”? Continue reading “How poor development happens?”


Gemba is a Japanese term, which in the QFD Voice of Customer context means to visit the actual place where the product will be used. The acclaim is that the first-hand experience of customer needs and wants in the use journey, when combined with the product designer’s technical skills and knowledge, represents an opportunity for creating value beyond what could otherwise be achieved. Continue reading “Gemba”

Translation table

There is often more than one way of addressing an input requirement. In order to attain competitiveness, it is important to identify and develop the one with most advantages over the others. The human mind in disposed to draw assumptions from past experience and to copy the behaviour of others. In some way, we are thereby naturally predisposed to want and produce stereotypical solutions. Continue reading “Translation table”

Balanced translation

The translation of ‘whats’ into ‘hows’ is influential on the House of Quality algorithmic transfer function. In a large matrix with many-to-many relationships, which is not uncommon, there is a degree of tolerance to imprecision when scoring the ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ interactions [1]. The effect can potentially mask flaws in the requirements translation. We must therefore Continue reading “Balanced translation”

4-phase QFD model (part 3 of 3)

Quality Function Deployment is taught to an estimated 150,000 design students every year. Its taught principles have contributed to success in many thousands, possibly millions, of design projects – although also to some that failed. Of all the design projects that have applied the QFD principles, only a fraction Continue reading “4-phase QFD model (part 3 of 3)”

4-phase QFD model (part 2 of 3)

In my last post I identified that QFD has often been mistaken as the process of building a House of Quality (HoQ). We do not develop the product toward a HoQ, but instead the HoQ establishes the plan for the development work to follow. We in fact spend a proportionally very small amount of time in the HoQ.

The Evolved 4-phase model now depicts Continue reading “4-phase QFD model (part 2 of 3)”

4-phase QFD model (part 1 of 3)

Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a design approach that maintains in focus what is most important to customers and stakeholders, thereby assuring quality and reducing project time. We can apply QFD to the development of products, parts, materials, services, events, software and websites – effectively any type of development that has a definable customer.

In this post I will explain why I believe the established QFD models are good, but not yet perfect. Continue reading “4-phase QFD model (part 1 of 3)”