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Voice of the Customer - Part 1 1

Quality Function Deployment (QFD)

2009 ~ Mark Polczynski

Voice of the Customer

An Integrated Strategic Technology Planning and Development Environment

New Concept Ideation Voice of the Customer

Technology Roadmapping

Scenario Planning

Intellectual Property Generation

Voice of the Customer

Voice of the Customer Input Process:


Purpose ~ Reveal unrecognized customer needs - what we dont know. ~ Validate our perceptions and plans - what we do know.

Desired Strengths ~ Systematic vs. anecdotal turns over most of the rocks. ~ Fact-based vs. opinion-based prioritization of needs. Potential Weaknesses ~ Can create inappropriate customer expectations. ~ Risks compromising intellectual property tip our hand. ~ Can keep us from being more inventive than our customers.
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QFD Resources
We will be using a QFD format based on QFD Designer, available from IDEACore (www.ideacore.com). You can download a free demo version of their product from their web site. The download contains a good users manual.

Another good reference is: Quality Function Deployment, by Lou Cohen. Also, here is a link to an on-line QWFD tutorial by Dr. Robert Hunt. This includes some templates you might find useful.

http://www.gsm.mq.edu.au/wps/wcm/connect/internet/Root/research/re searchclusters/cmit/tutorials/
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Quality Function Deployment


Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a common general method invented in Japan in the late sixties initially to support the ship building product design process.

QFD has been adapted and expanded to apply to any planning process that requires: ~ identification and prioritization (whys) ~ of possible responses (hows) ~ to a given set of objectives (whats).

Other formal, systematic V-O-C processes exist. We use QFD to demonstrate one way to obtain customer inputs.
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HKT QFD
Origin of the term Quality Function Deployment:
Hinshitsu quality; qualities; features; attributes

Kino
Tenkai

function; mechanization
deployment; diffusion; development; evolution

So, somehow, we ended up calling this Quality Function Deployment,


But it just as well could have been Attributes Mechanization Evolution.

Voice of the Customer

What specific problems are solved by QFD?

Poor understanding of customer needs ~ Solve the wrong problems, miss the big problems.
Failure to strategically prioritize efforts ~ No time and money left to solve the most important problems. Willingness to take on unmanageable risks ~ Dont know what we are committing to. Overreliance on formal specifications ~ Spec often misses contextual cues, e.g., why are we building this in the first place? Fixing the wrong problems ~ Often times forced to ship product before all bugs are eliminated, so did we fix enough of the most important bugs?
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NOTE!

QFD takes significant time and effort to do correctly.


It is explicitly (visibly) time-consuming meetings, reviews, delays.

BUT
Every issue resolved by QFD before-the-fact.. Must be resolved after the fact anyway!

Pay me now, or pay me later - with interest.

Voice of the Customer

Purpose of QFD
1. Find out what your customers specific needs are (WHATs),

2.

Determine the things you need to work on (HOWs), Determine priorities of what you should work on (WHYS).

3.

Voice of the Customer

Example QFD
The following is an example of QFD applied to the Perfect Mousetrap, from QFD Designer.

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The Whole Nine Yards


Please remain calm, its not that bad!

: str. pos. : med. pos. : wk. pos. + : med. neg. # : str. neg.

Whys
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QFD Diagram is sometimes call the House of Quality because of the shape.

But people use the term House of Quality for other diagrams, too.
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Building a QFD Matrix

Its not as bad as it looks!

You can build it one section at a time.


Phase 1: Whats Phase 2: Hows Phase 3: Whys

Lets look at the steps in building the matrix


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QFD Phase 1: Whats


Phase 1: Whats Phase 2: Hows Phase 3: Whys

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Phase 1
1. Gather WHATs These are the desired effects you are trying to bring about. Not problems or solutions!

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Phase 1

2. Quantify Importances of WHATs Rated by customer, not by you.

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3. Identify WHAT-WHAT Correlations How do the WHATs affect each other?

Phase 1

: str. pos. : med. pos. : wk. pos. + : med. neg. # : str. neg.
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A trap that kills quickly is not easy to set, so this is a strong negative correlation.

Phase 1

Many negative correlations tells customer that product will be expensive and will take a long time to develop.
Voice of the Customer

: str. pos. : med. pos. : wk. pos. + : med. neg. # : str. neg.
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Phase 1
Controls customer expectations!
Customer may choose to re-prioritize items with strong negative interactions.

: str. pos. : med. pos. : wk. pos. + : med. neg. # : str. neg.
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Negative correlations are prime targets for ideation processes. How can we make a trap that kills quickly and is easy to set?

Sneak Preview

: str. pos. : med. pos. : wk. pos. + : med. neg. # : str. neg.
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Logical grouping of WHATs

Eliminates Mice

Luring Effectiveness

Easy to Use

Safety

Controls

Government

Effective Luring Good Camouflage Reliable Small Kills Quickly etc Easy to Bait Easy to Set Easy to Empty etc Safe to Set Safe from Kids etc EPA etc

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4. Gather Competitor Ratings Your customers assessment of your offering vs. your competitors.

Phase 1

Customer Need Attracts mice Operates relaibly Kills quickly Easy to bait Easy to set Easy to dispose

Customer Importance 3 5 2 3 4 5

Your Offering High Medium Low Low Medium High

Competitor Offering High Low Medium Low High Medium


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Voice of the Customer

Customer Need Attracts mice Operates relaibly Kills quickly Easy to bait Easy to set Easy to dispose

Customer Importance 3 5 2 3 4 5

Your Offering High Medium Low Low Medium High

Competitor Offering High Low Medium Low High Medium

RELATIVE Customer Importance ? ? ? ? ? ?

Phase 1

5. Determine Required Improvement Which really needs improvement? .


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Customer Need Attracts mice Operates relaibly Kills quickly Easy to bait Easy to set Easy to dispose

Customer Importance 3 5 2 3 4 5

Your Offering High Medium Low Low Medium High

Competitor Offering High Low Medium Low High Medium

RELATIVE Customer Importance ? ? ? ? ? ?

If customer importance = high And your product = high And competitor product = high Then relative importance = ??? If customer importance = high And your product = high And competitor product = low Then relative importance = ??? If customer importance = high etc
Voice of the Customer

What will your strategy be?

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Possible comparison strategies


You have existing product Your competitor has existing product Your competitor has no existing product Your existing product vs. their existing product Your existing product vs. ideal product You have no existing product Their existing product vs. ideal product NA

However you do the comparison, the goal of customer assessment is: Dont waste resources improving things that the customer doesnt value and therefore wont pay for!
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This approach can be applied for development of:

New products,

New services, New technologies Comparison with existing/competing technologies.

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Thus Ends Phase 1 - Whats

Phase 1

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Hints on Identifying WHATs


WHATs tend to show up in similar forms for different customers/applications/products,
Thus, there will always be some basic commonality to the list of WHATs. You probably dont need to start from scratch every time once youve done a few of these,

You can probably build a common library of generic WHATs, Identifying WHATs in this structured environment gets much easier with experience!
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Nevertheless!

You still need to interview the customers to get WHATs,


Just in case a new need is emerging. Further, this is a great way to build good customer relations, Even if you already know all the answers, Since sympathetic listening is a powerful tool.

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Voice-Of-The-Customer Part 2
How to Interview a Customer

2009 ~ Mark Polczynski

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The Customer Interview Process


The process of interviewing customers is the most important element of the overall Voice-of-the-Customer element of strategic technology planning.
A poor interview process:

Generates bad input, making the rest of your efforts a waste of time,
Can raise false expectations in your customer, Can drive customers away from you. Conversely, a good interview process: Psychological impact

Sets the correct direction for all other processes,


Pro-actively clarifies expectations,

Can bind you closely together with your customer (partner).

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Why we need a process:


It is especially important for technologists to develop strong customer interview skills: Technology is an important potential source of solutions, And since technologists will be the ones often solving the problems, it is best for them to learn the problems directly from customers,
Plus they can discover new needs that others dont see,

But in general, technologists may lack the people skills needed to conduct good interviews.
They can easily create false expectations for customers. Establishing a systematic process for interviewing customers can help!

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Return to the Perfect Mousetrap example


You are a brand new engineer just hired by Acme Trap Company. Your company makes all kinds of animal traps. Your very first assignment is to design the next generation product line for your company.
Your first task is to interview customers to determine WHAT features your new trap family will have.

So, lets get started!

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Based on the customer interviews, your job is to fill in these boxes:

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Acme Market Segmentation


You will focus on small animal (rat and mouse) kill traps for use in warehouses where grain is stored, like in the movie...

Acme Trap Co. Kill Traps

Large Animal Fur hunters

Small Animal Households, food industry

Live traps

Zoos, naturalists
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Grain warehouses
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Our focus area:

Small animal kill traps for grain warehouses

So now were ready to do the customer interview


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Customer interviews can be done in four steps:

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Customer Interview Process Step 1.1


General Customer Needs For the field of use and application (market segment) being focused on, determine customer needs. Use the following guideline questions (add/change/delete as appropriate): Why? What? Why is this this product/service needed? What specifically will it be used for?

Who? When?
Where? How?

Who does/will/could use it? When does/will it be used?


Where will it be used? How will it be used?

Make a checklist!
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Voice of the Customer

Customer Interview Process Step 1.2


Specific Customer Needs Determine what specific attributes that the product must have. Typical areas of needs are:

Make a checklist!

Performance What exactly does the customer need it do?


Quality/Reliability How well must it do it? User Interface How will the user interact with it? Cost How sensitive to cost is it?

Regulation Is its use or design regulated in any way?

As you obtain input, use the 5 Whys approach to drill down into needs.
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The 5 Whys Approach


You ask a customer a question.

They give you an answer.


You ask: Why do you need that?

They give you an answer. You ask: Why do you need that?
They give you an answer.

You ask Why do you need that five times.


This gets you to the root cause.

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5-Whys is a general root cause problem solving tool

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Like Pareto 80-20 rule, seems to describe how things work

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Interview with Grain Warehouse Owner:


You: So, how important is the reliability of the mouse trap?
Customer: It is very important! You: Why is it so important?

Customer: Because I dont have any way to repair them. You: But they are simple to repair, so why dont you fix them?
Customer: Because I have nobody to repair them. You: But any idiot can repair them! Why dont you have anyone?

Customer: My warehouse is a totally automated lights-out warehouse, there ARE no people in the warehouse!
You: So, who is going to take the dead rats out of the trap?

Customer: Good question!


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Why the Five Whys Technique is Useful


For this example, by the fifth question we learned some important points: Theres no-one around to fix the traps, and Theres no-one around to remove the dead rats, and Theres no-one around to re-bait and re-set the traps!
So, it looks like we need a trap: ~ That doesnt need to be manually re-baited and reset, ~ That somehow gets rid of the dead rats. Sounds like a great topic for an ideation session?

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You now have enough information to complete the Step 1 box:

Now we can change these to: Self-baiting Self-setting Self-cleaning

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What Next?
When you complete this step, you may choose to continue with the following three steps.

Continue the interview only if you can write short, clear customer need statements.

Or, you may choose to conclude the interview to go home and document the results, and then return for a second interview.

At the first interview, you may obtain very much information, or conflicting information, which makes it difficult to write the customer needs statements at the interview.

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Step 2 is to determine customer importance of each of the needs

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Customer Interview Process Step 2


Customer Need Importance At this point, specific customer need statements have been prepared.

Customer is asked to confirm need statements: Did I understand what you said?

Customer then ranks the needs in order from: 1 = most important, 2 = second most important, etc

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Customer Need Importance:


Customers may find it difficult to rank the importance of needs as first, second, third.
They may want to rank everything #1.

And they may disagree among themselves as to which is most important.


This part of the interview may take a lot of time! The customer will learn more about their own needs by doing this. In the end, these interviews can be just as helpful to customers as they are to you. So, you should always give the results to your customer. But if at all possible, get a 1, 2, 3 ranked priority for needs!

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The Bubble Sort


Heres a simple technique for forcing a 1, 2, 3 ranking on needs. For the first two needs on the list, ask the customer which is more important.
If the second is more important, move it up one place, If not, leave both where they are. Repeat for the second and third needs, then the third and fourth, etc After you get to the bottom, go through the list again. Repeat this until no need swap positions on the list.

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Bubble Sort:

Customer need A Customer need B Customer need C Customer need D Customer need Z

Swap? Swap? Swap?


Repeat until nothing changes

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Now Step 3

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Step 3 Interactions Between Customer Needs


Here, you compare all the needs as pairs, e.g.: kills quickly vs. easy to set. The question is: If I design the product to do X well, does that make it harder or easier to do Y?
e.g.: If I design a mousetrap that kills quickly, will that make it easy to set, or hard to set? It will probably make it hard to set. So this is a negative interaction.

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It is important to do this step with the customer:


When they see the interactions, they may choose to change the ranking of their needs (e.g., repeat the Bubble Sort).

It helps to control expectations:


If they see many negative correlations, they will know why the product will cost a lot and take a long time to design.

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It is important to do this step with the customer:


It will clarify assumptions about the product: You assume the trap has a spring in it, The larger the spring, the greater the killing force (good),
But the larger the spring, the greater the setting force (bad). So, how can we do this without a spring? Negative correlations and the associated assumptions are great topics

for ideation sessions!


By the way, identification of contradictions is a fundamental aspect of TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving).

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Finally, Step 4:

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Step 4 Customer Assessment

Here, the customer compares your products with your competitors products.
Comparison question to the customer can be quite simple: Compared to my competitors product/service, my offering is: 5 = Much better 4 = Better 3 = Similar 2 = Worse 1 = Much Worse

If you dont have an offering at the time of the interview, - or of the customer has never seen your product, - or if you dont have any competitors, - then you cant do a direct comparison, - so the comparison is made with customers ideal performance.
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You have existing product Your competitor has existing product Your competitor has no existing product Your existing product vs. their existing product Your existing product vs. ideal product

You have no existing product Their existing product vs. ideal product Relative need rank = customer importance

However you do the comparison, the goal of customer assessment is:

Dont waste resources improving things that the customer wont pay for!

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Step 4 Customer Assessment


This is the first time in the interview that you talk about products. Here, the customer compares your products with your competitors products. This is about perceptions, not about reality. Dont argue with your customer, just record their assessment!
Yu are not selling your products at this meeting! You are learning what your customer thinks. If you want to change what your customer thinks, that is a different meeting. You will not be invited back if your interview turns into a sales call.
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Tip
If your view of how your product measures up to customer expectations differs from that of your customer, an appropriate response from you would be:

I have some test data that clearly shows that Acme mouse traps have a setting force significantly lower that Ace traps. Can we set up a meeting next week so that I can share that data with you?

If you dont have the data, you better get it.

If your trap is, in fact, inferior to your competitors, best to go on to the next need ASAP!

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You have completed the customer interview!

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Voice of the Customer - Part 3


Quality Function Deployment (QFD) Phase 2 & 3

2009 ~ Mark Polczynski

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QFD Phase 2 HOWs


Phase 1: Whats Phase 2: Hows Phase 3: Whys

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Phase 2

6. Generate HOWs Measurable objectives that cause the desired effect (WHATs) Not solutions!

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Details on Product Characteristics

Examine examples of each


HOWs can be characterized as: - Performance measurements

Most common application

- Product functions

- Process steps

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Using Performance Measurements to Identify Hows


For each customer need, define one or a few technical performance measurements, e.g.:
How would I actually measure the ability to meet this need?

Setting Force Easy to Set etc

For each customer need (WHAT)

etc identify the technical performance measure (HOW).

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Details on Product Characteristics

Preview: You are filling up these cells in the WHAT/HOW matrix.

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Using Product/Process Functions to Identify Hows


You can use product/process functions instead of performance measurements, especially if the product/service concept already exists, e.g., upgrade to an existing product in the field.
Heres an example Functional groups QFD HOW columns e.g. New Functions QFD WHAT rows e.g. File

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The Process QFD:


You can use QDF to design a process (manufacturing, business, etc) For process QFDs, the WHATS rows are what the process has to do.

Then the HOW columns are simply the process steps.


Performance targets can be quantified by factors such as: ~ Average process step cycle time, ~ Average processing cost per cycle, ~ Average defect rate at each process step.

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Phase 2
7. Determine CUSTOMER performance targets How does your customer want the products to perform? This is not what you think is possible!

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Phase 2
8. Determine HOW-HOW Correlations How do the HOWs affect each other?

Controls expectations! - Cost - Time - Reliability

: str. pos. : med. pos. : wk. pos. + : med. neg. # : str. neg.
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Phase 2

If your customers specified impossible Performance Targets, note that now!

Combinations of HOWS Impact Technical Difficulty

9. Determine relative Technical Difficulty Where do we anticipate major hurdles?


: str. pos. : med. pos. : wk. pos. + : med. neg. # : str. neg.

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Here Ends Phase 2 HOWs

Phase 2

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QFQ Phase 3 WHYs


Phase 1: Whats Phase 2: Hows Phase 3: Whys

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Phase 3

Goal: Determine WHY we should choose to improve certain characteristics.

: str. pos. : med. pos. : wk. pos. + : med. neg. # : str. neg.

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10. Determine WHAT-HOW Relationships Rate how strongly each factor leads to each goal.

Phase 3

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What-to-How Relationships - Detail


If we defined the columns of the QFD as Performance Measures, and identify the performance measures based on each Customer Need, then we automatically identify the primary What-to-How relationships

Setting Force

Easy to Set etc

Voice of the Customer

etc

: str. pos. : med. pos. : wk. pos. + : med. neg. # : str. neg.

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Phase 3

11. Calculate Relative Importance Which HOWs should we work on?

Qualisoft automatically calculates based on completed QFD matrix, however

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Relative importance of product characteristic depends on relative importance of all associated customer needs AND strength of association

Calculating Relative Importance

Customer Need

Customer Importance 3 5 2 3 4 5

Your Offering High Medium Low Low Medium High

Competitor Offering High Low Medium Low High Medium

: str. pos. : med. pos. : wk. pos. + : med. neg. # : str. neg.

Attracts mice Operates relaibly Kills quickly Easy to bait Easy to set Easy to dispose

RELATIVE Customer Importance 1 3 2 4 6 5

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A major benefit of the QFD is the ability to clearly identify secondary interactions

: str. pos. : med. pos. : wk. pos. + : med. neg. # : str. neg.

Useable baits heavily impacts Easy to bait, but also impacts Attracts mice
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Strong positive interaction increases relative importance

Calculating Relative Importance

High technical difficulty decreases relative importance


: str. pos. : med. pos. : wk. pos. + : med. neg. # : str. neg.
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End of Phase 3 Whys

Phase 3

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Started by finding out exactly what your customers needs are...

and ended up knowing exactly what to work on first, next, etc

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QFD Extensions:
Technical Benchmarking

Similar to Customer Assessment

You can add a Technical Benchmarking row here

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We saw that relative customer importance depends on a comparative analysis of products RELATIVE
Customer Need Attracts mice Operates relaibly Kills quickly Easy to bait Easy to set Easy to dispose Customer Importance 3 5 2 3 4 5 Your Offering Competitor Offering High Low Medium Low High Medium High Medium Low Low Medium High Customer Importance 1 3 2 4 6 5

Similarly, relative importance of product characteristics depends on a comparative analysis of performance


Dead Mouse Luring Radius Ratio Customer Performance Targets Current Performance Competitor Performance Technical Difficulty Relative Importance 20 feet 15 feet 15 feet 3 2 95% 90% 95% 3 1 MTBF 50 actuations 40 actuations 30 actuations 2 3
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Voice of the Customer

Possible Application of QFD Nesting

We just did this QFD

So QFD approach can be used to document the end-to-end development process


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QFD Nesting
First Level QFD

Second Level QFD

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What specific problems are solved by QFD?

Poor understanding of customer needs ~ Solve the wrong problems, miss the big problems.
Failure to strategically prioritize efforts ~ No time and money left to solve the most important problems. Willingness to take on unmanageable risks ~ Dont know what we are committing to.

Overreliance on formal specifications ~ Spec often misses contextual cues, e.g., why are we building this in the first place?
Fixing the wrong problems ~ Often times forced to ship product before all bugs are eliminated, so did we fix enough of the most important bugs?

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