Quality Creation vs Quality Assurance

Quality practitioners now-a-days tend to treat the term quality assurance as being too narrow for purpose. They prefer instead to talk about quality management or quality systems. History shows that over-emphasis on the term ‘assurance’ can drive a limited kind of quality, which would not necessarily guarantee satisfaction. Continue reading “Quality Creation vs Quality Assurance”

How much dissatisfaction will customers tolerate?

Ideally, quality is naturally inherent in the product, in a way that dissatisfaction is simply never an issue. In the real world, however, organisations and their operating environments are dynamically complex. Everything that interacts has variability. The provision of a product or service will rely on hundreds, if not thousands, of small interactions Continue reading “How much dissatisfaction will customers tolerate?”

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 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”

How do ideas come about?

Before a new original idea is discovered it can be thought of as in fact being in existence already, just that it exists within a yet unknown ‘void’ in solution space where it has not yet been found, studied and defined. The same solution space also has defined products containing known developed ideas, such as the labels ‘A’ and ‘B’ on our pathway here, where the voids co-exist alongside these established products. A newly discovered, previously unknown, idea goes through a development pathway, before it is released back into solution space as a known idea. Continue reading “How do ideas come about?”

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”

Documenting an IMS

The integrated management system should define processes that can affect the planning, operation and control of all of the system standards that the organisation has adopted. The process definition should describe what, who and how well something is to be done, which in standards terms are inputs, outputs, responsibility and criteria. Do not define processes for Continue reading “Documenting an IMS”