Quality function deployment (QFD) is an approach that is meant to take the VOC concept
seriously and uses it to help design new products and services or improve existing ones. It is an
approach that was initially developed in Japan for manufacturing applications. It seeks “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.” To put it more clearly, QFD takes the desires of consumers
and explores how well the individual activities of the business are meeting those desires. It also
considers how company activities interact with each other and how well the company is meeting
those customer desires with respect to the competition. It achieves all these ends through the
means of a schematic; which is known as the house of quality.
The schematic provides the backbone for the entire QFD process. A comprehensive design
process may use several houses of quality, moving from the first house, which concentrates on
the initial specification of customer desires, all the way down to developing a house that focuses
on the specification for parts or processes. Any house is composed of several components:
• Customer requirements (the whats). Here you identify the elements desired by customers; this
section also contains the relative importance of these needs as identified by customers.
• Engineering characteristics (the hows). This is the means by which an organization seeks to meet
• Relationship matrix. This illustrates the correlations among customer requirements and engineering
characteristics. The degree of the correlation may be represented by different symbols.
• “Roof” of the house. This section illustrates the correlations among the engineering characteristics and
reveals synergies that might exist among the engineering characteristics.
• Competitive assessment matrix. This is used to evaluate the position of a business with respect to its
• “Basement.” This section is used for assessing the engineering characteristics or setting target values.
The “basement” enables participants to instantly see the relative benefits of the activities undertaken by a
company in meeting consumer desires by multiplying the values in each cell by the weight of the “why”
and then adding the values together.