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New Kano Model and QFD

Classical QFD as well as conventional Voice of Customer methods deal with the "spoken" needs, taking at the face value the customer verbatim gained from surveys, focus groups, and so forth.

In contrast, Modern QFD has specific tools for uncovering the "unspoken" needs and market opportunities beyond the stated obvious.

This is why and how:

Quality is often characterized as "exciters," "desired," and "expected." The reference is from the 1984 research "Attractive Quality and Must-Be Quality" by Noriaki Kano, Ph.D., Nobuhiko Seraku, and Fumio Takahashi. Their original model (below) measured satisfaction against the existence or absence of a feature. It does NOT address customer needs, which are feature independent.

     (old Kano model - graphic by QFDI)   

      (old Kano model survey - translation & graphics by QFDI)

Additionally, the Kano categories are from survey responses by knowledgable customers responding to inverse-paired questions. They are NOT assigned by engineers.

A common error in interpreting Kano's response categories is the misleading curved-arrow diagram that is often cited. As the one who translated Dr. Kano's original Japanese paper into English for GOAL/QPC, I wonder if these people actually read his study.

The inverse-paired question yields only two data points: the "if" and the "if not". So, you can only draw a line (= linear). It takes three data points to inscribe a curve.

This problem was addressed by Mr. Harold Ross, a now retired General Motors engineer and a director of the QFD Institute. He called this the New Kano Model (below), and it adds the necessary questions to draw the curve and use it to extrapolate design decisions. It also reveals hidden market segments. The answer really points to Quality Function Deployment (QFD).

(new kano model by QFD Institute)

Another in the forum questioned the definition of QFD. Let's get this right: QFD means that the "quality function" must be "deployed" to all departments (including marketing, engineering, build, support, etc.) in order to satisfy customers in new product development. This is because the traditional role of the quality function comes too late in most organizations -- right before production start-up.

QFD is specifically designed to translate customer needs into product functional requirements, performance specifications, concept innovation, reliability, cost, build, sourcing, inspection, support, retirement, etc.

Classical QFD began with a House of Quality (HoQ) matrix, which was then deployed to several additional houses (matrices) to compete the analysis.

The 4-House model was truncated in the early1980s from the original Comprehensive model of Dr. Yoji Akao. The truncation helped quick implementation by the U.S. auto part suppliers who were building to print at the time, but at the cost of limited applicability.

The Classical model was modernized in the late 1990s by the U.S. experts, to better reflect non-automotive applications (service, software, etc.) operating in a Lean environment.

The advantages of Modern QFD come from developing an earlier focus on critical customer needs which must be the very foundation for successful product development. This has required brand new tools that were not available in the Classical QFD. These include the upgraded modern math.

Both Classical and Modern QFD tools and methods are being written into the new ISO 16355 standard for QFD. To learn more about both approaches, the correct way from the trusted source, we invite you to the QFD Green Belt® Certificate Course which is held several times a year in U.S. cities as well as overseas. This training can be also scheduled in your company. For questions about QFD and training, please contact the QFD Institute.

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