Shorthand QFD

Although the founding of QFD is based on evaluation matrices, as containers for the planning activities, the concept of QFD can in fact be implemented without using any single matrix at all. The spirit of QFD lays in a team-based process for maintaining visibility and integrity in the VOC, when translating the characteristics in one domain into characteristics in another domain. Continue reading “Shorthand QFD”

Navigating solution space

Solution space is abstract, multi-dimensional and non-convex. The space contains known and partially explored optimum solutions, which are illustrated here as hilltops. Areas of solution space are inaccessible to us, either because someone else have established the Intellectual Property Rights to it or because it represents a ‘void’ in our own design or production capabilities – i.e. the solution depends on a materials or technique that is outside our organisation’s skills set. Continue reading “Navigating solution space”

Evidence-based decision making

Decision making is the forming of a causal argument that a chosen alternative will result a certain future outcome. The quality of a decision is largely dependent on the accuracy and relevance of the information on which it is based – as well as being free from subjective bias in reflecting the true needs. When poor quality or biased evidence is used for decision making, the proposed alternative will risk producing an ineffective or adverse outcome. Standards, such as ISO 9001 on quality management and ISO 16355 on QFD, therefore calls for factual decision information. Continue reading “Evidence-based decision making”

People in systems

People are a particularly dynamic resource. Firstly, they are extremely flexible and adaptable, compared to a machine. Secondly, the individual person has an independent mind, which is sensitive to its environment. People’s abilities, concentrations and commitments vary continually. People need to be equipped with the skills, knowledge, support and motivation necessary to perform their functions within the system well. People also need to be aware of the organisation’s values and objectives, and understand how they themselves contribute to meeting these. Continue reading “People in systems”

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

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”