As stated in the last article, I like to explore method combinations. Therefore, here’s another methodology combination for you. In 2015, I was invited to do a lecture on this, together with the QFD expert Jutta Saatweber. Very interesting!
QFD – Quality Function Deployment – is about translating customer requests, wishes and needs into product respectively tech requirements.
That is quite a “low key” explanation. There’s a lot to this method, it is quite … industrialised; used by big manufacturing companies.
One major tool is the House of Quality. It supports the exchange between developer & customer and helps to prioritise economically.
Start with the customer. What is important to your customer? WHY does he/she need and want the product?
Second step – how important are these requests (aka values) to the customer?
List the product requirements (meaning characteristics and functions, HOW do you do it).
Check for overlaps with the customer values and qualify the overlaps – you can use symbols to do that. No symbol, no overlap. 🤨
Rate the product requirements based on overlaps, importance and efficiency. Look for corroborative and for disagreeing requirement respectively function pairs. It is suggested to use symbols here, too – building the roof of your house of quality.
Now let’s say “req 2” and “req 3” contradict each other, like… a vacuum cleaner should clean efficiently (good floor contact) and move easily (light floor contact). That’s a classic TRIZ question right there!
Now, as I am a BIG advocate for getting technicians and engineers on board with eco friendly solutions – that’s one method to include nature, as customer and as a role model, too.
I know. A bit much to chew on! But I think it is an interesting combination – so I wanted to tell you about it. Try the basic house model with a product you know, to get a feel for the possibilities – maybe it’s a helpful tool for you, too.
Wikipedia article » en.wikipedia.org (basic explanation & link collection)
German QFD Institute » qfd-id.de (in German)
International QFD Institute » qfdi.org (in English)