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QFD Task Deployment and Process Deployment

In manufacturing, documents such as quality standards, work flows, QC process charts, process control sheets and so forth are commonly used to control the quality of manufacturing processes.

Common to these forms are the part name, name of step or process, operating instructions, person responsible for the process, inspection method, sampling frequency, instruments required, control items, target values, what to do in case of an anomaly, etc.

These charts were brought to the design phase of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) by Dr. Yoji Akao to assure the quality of the new processes that were being developed for new products. Dr. Mizuno, with his Value Engineering foundation, used these charts to document the quality of organizational functions that were involved with assuring quality of the new product, such as marketing, sales, R&D, engineering, QC, service, and other functional responsibilities. (History of QFD)

As early as late 1960s, the co-founders of QFD recognized the importance of managing the quality of the cross-functional organizational efforts that affect the outcome of new product development. They saw that it was no longer adequate to assure just operator activities on the plant floor using process standards; the organizational process activities also had to be assured.

In 1961, Dr. A. Feigenbaum had defined these as the quality function - the activities to produce, supply, and use quality. Mizuno and Akao added to this the quest for quality in the product itself and created a systematic method that links the quality activities for the new product with those for organizational processes.

We call this process side of "QFD task deployment." Task deployment is fundamental to all quality management activities. It creates the standard operating procedures that assure through the development of standard, the ongoing quality and maintenance of improvement. The power of task deployment is in its ability to organize human activity around essential quality factors. Another benefit is to identify, while the tasks and processes are still being designed, the activities that are often taken for granted and could be overlooked until it is too late, as well as new activities that could bring real excitement and value to the job.

In our observation, many major Japanese companies do this process part of QFD. This results in a permanent change and 'engineering' of the new product development process that is hard to beat. Unfortunately, this side of QFD is not widely known outside Japan. Many new product development teams have difficulty in systematizing their product development process and extending their achievements to future products. This is because most product development processes are often 'pieced-together,' not engineered.

Customization of QFD process is essential for this reason. It can not only establish the optimum QFD product development process for your project, but also it can identify the areas of the organizational processes that are crucial to delivering the goals of your new product.

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© QFD Institute / Glenn Mazur  


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