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ISO 16355 — From Voice of Customer to Quality Assurance

Applying QFD in service settings is a struggle, some readers have told us. Certainly, services deploy very differently than manufactured products, since intangible components such as people, training, etc. are very hard to standardize. But in fact, it could be argued that uniqueness can be a competitive advantage -- a way to stand out from the crowd.

From a development perspective, creating new products or services share enough elements, so a common approach can be sufficiently modified and used for both tangibles and intangibles. Whether your service is finance and insurance, hospitality, or even internal business processes, the new ISO 16355 standard for QFD has necessary tools and deployment flows to focus on what is critical to customers. The standard is based on the late Dr. Akao's broad comprehensive platform and includes case studies to help your team. Further ahead, look forward to the soon-to-be-published parts of this standard. It will include more detailed guidance, including step-by-step instructions with examples. Mastering the tools of ISO 16355 now can be most useful for new service development, regardless of your industry. Here is why:

ISO 16355-2:2017 begins with organizational strategy. What is the purpose of this new service? Which customers and stakeholders require more insight in order to create a differentiating offer? Strategies like customer retention vs. customer attraction or maximizing traffic vs. profit may focus on very different market segments, and the approach necessary to gain understanding of their unspoken needs. Examples include healthcare, insurance, and software services.

ISO 16355-4:2017 carries the process forward to explore target customer applications to better understand their work (B2B) or life (B2C). Note that Lean and Six Sigma tools such as value stream mapping, fishbone diagrams, data models, and others are re-focused here on customer processes rather than our own. What we look for are problems customer face (negatives to be neutralized) or opportunities they cannot grasp (neutrals to be enabled). Add image concerns to these problems and opportunities, and we have a set of needs that customers can prioritize what matters most to them. Examples include government, hospitality, and health insurance.

youtube video
A service Quality moment. Click to watch on Youtube, 1970 Jack Nicholson classic "Five Easy Piece

ISO 16355-5:2017 transforms the prioritized customer needs into service requirements. Both the Modern Blitz QFD® approach and the classical matrix approach are extensively detailed to include quality, technology, cost, reliability, process, and other deployments. Additionally, innovation methods, concept selection, target specification setting, FMEA, and other Lean and Six Sigma tools are put to use. Examples include knowledge management, sustainability, energy suppliers, food service, medicine, insurance, safety, project management, and IT systems.

ISO/TR 16355-8:2017 commercializes the new service offering to assure quality through proper IT systems, floor plans, training, marketing, technical support, and flow into the next generation. Lean and Six Sigma tools in this section include PFMEA, value engineering and analysis, supplier selection, emotional quality, and others. Examples include food service, transportation, construction, and sustainability.

Service applications are now a significant portion of the publicQFD Green Belt® training courses, with a focus on medical services. This training also includes applications in manufactured products, processed products, and software products. Please join us to build your professional skills and competitive edges.

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