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Training FAQs

How do I learn more about QFD?

BOOKS: Most recommended are books of the men who founded the methodology — Mizuno and Akao. These books contain the original QFD concept and early applications by these QFD founders.

Stidy Case Studies and Research Papers: QFD symposium transactions are a good source of application case studies and research papers. You will be able to see the transformation and progression of QFD and ISO 16355 concepts and methods.

Attend Symposium: Attending the Symposium on QFD is an excellent opportunity for beginners and experts alike to gain an insight into new applications, tools and methods, and solutions, as well as to stay on top of the current trends. The Symposium serves as a forum for anyone who is interested in QFD and ISO 16355; you can network, exchange tips with, and ask questions to other practitioners. Public courses for all levels of proficiency are offered as pre and post conference events.

Professional QFD Courses: The QFD Green Belt® Certificate Course is recommended for new product development and business developers professionals and DFLS / DFSS Black Belts and Master Black Belts, including those in Marketing, Sales, Design, Supply Chain, Customer Service, Product Planning, Business Development, Manufacturing, etc. The internationally acclaimed workshop teaches the most up-to-date QFD/ISO16355 knowledge in both theory and practice and a chance to begin applying the tools on the actual project of yours under the guidance of the instructor. Modern QFD/ISO16355 training manuals, case studies, and templates (modern House of Quality, Customer Voice Table, Maximum Value Table, Analytic Hierarchy Process, and more) are included.

For those who aim to be a project leader or facilitator, the QFD Black Belt® Certificate Course is an ideal training. It is offered as a public course through the QFD Institute, as well as in-house training option which helps your business develop an internal pool of QFD talents within the organization.

Public courses as well as in-house training are available for both courses. Please see the right hand panel of this page.

QFD Institute Newsletter: This is another source for QFD tips, short articles, and timely announcements of upcoming training opportunities. This monthly e-newsletter is sent to the subscribers' inbox. It is a free service that you can opt in or out at any time.

What can QFD do for me?

In addition to the benefits of implementing QFD/ISO16355 that have been documented in the Symposium Transacitons and Testimonials, here are some of the reasons why QFD can be useful to your business.

  • The QFD/ISO16355 methodology can be used for both tangible products and non-tangible services, from manufactured goods, service and business process development, and software & IT to government, defense, healthcare, education, environmental initiatives, marketing, strategic development. The range of its application is still expanding.
  • QFD/ISO16355 seeks both spoken and unspoken true customer needs. QFD identifies positive quality and business opportunities, and translates these into actions and designs by using transparent analytic and prioritization methods, empowering organizations to exceed normal expectations and provide a level of unanticipated excitement that generates value.
  • QFD/ISO16355 draws in cross functional teams across the organization to come together in data sharing, analysis, and decision making. It further enables the organization to better align the activities of new product development and different departments with the united business goals and customer satisfaction.
  • The QFD framework is a natural fit for Knowledge Management as companies downsize, consolidate and change thier workforce.
  • Modern QFD/ISO16355 address the Four S's of today's lean business environment: Speed, Smart, Slim, and Sustainability.

Where can I find the best training?

The QFD Institute offers world-class QFD and ISO16355 courses using the most up-to-date curriculum and teaching method available today.

Its QFD Belt program has been developed and continually updated to deliver the highest possible standards of QFD training in the world.

As a world center for advanced QFD and ISO16355 research using the only Akao-certified QFD training curriculum available outside Japan, you can be confident your instructors and course materials are the best.

Read more on Excellence in Training

What are the benefits of QFD training by the QFD Institute and its instructors?

QFD Institute and its instructors strive to present only the best and most current in QFD/ISO16355 knowledge, practice and tools. Our instructors have studied the subjects directly under Dr. Akao (co-founder of QFD) since mid-1980's, as well as in international study groups.

Every year, our instructors attend privately-held study sessions with international QFD / ISO 16355 experts and other pioneers in the field to research, keep themselves up-to-date, and to refine their teaching methods. They have lectured on QFD and ISO 16355 internationally for many years, delivered keynotes, and have published numerous QFD case studies and articles in English and Japanese. They are organizers of the North American and International Symposium on QFD.

The QFD Institute executive director Glenn Mazur is the convenor of the ISO 16355 in charge of writing the international standard. This uniquely qualifies them to bring leading edge QFD knowledge to their students and explicate the complete picture of Comprehensive QFD, its origin, transformation, what are facts, what are myths, etc.

More important, they are the developers of the only QFD / ISO 16355 curricula in English authorized by Dr. Akao, founder of QFD. The course materials are continuously updated for both public and in-house courses and custom-tailored to your company's needs and development process for in-house training. Many consulting firms also rely on the QFD Institute's training program to train their QFD consultants and trainers. (Companies that have sent their employees to the QFD Institute's training.)

More on Excellence in Training

Why isn't other QFD training as up-to-date?

In the beginning...

When Dr. Akao introduced QFD to the US in the 1980s, the auto industry saw a way to regain lost customers using the same techniques their Japanese competitors used. Component suppliers opted for a bare-bones approach to QFD to quickly address design improvements using a standardized 4-matrix analysis.

This cookie-cutter approach (one of its leading proponents even dubbed it kindergarten QFD) in the hands of a poor trainer is often abbreviated further to just one matrix - the so-called House of Quality. "A House of Quality is Not QFD." -Yoji Akao, QFD Master Class, 1994.

Forced inclusion of all the data in a single chart results in a huge matrix that gives inconclusive results. One misguided QFD study cited over a million data cells in the House of Quality that needed to be cross-checked. This is not good QFD. On the other end of the scale are those that try to do more than 30 matrices! No wonder many abandon QFD as being too difficult and time consuming. But, nothing could be further from the truth.

Too short, too long, isn't anything just right?

Study Japanese QFD thoroughly as we have, and you will see that each company has unique QFD approaches that need tailoring. There is no "right" number of matrices. The House of Quality or other matrices alone do not make QFD and they may even be unnecessary. If you do build the matrices, to do it correctly and to analyze correctly require the guidance from someone who has this thorough understanding.

The QFD Institute has created its training approach and materials with Dr. Akao and his associates — We know what works, what does not, and how to custom-tailor QFD to best fit your organization. We also played a leading role for the establishment of the new ISO 16355.

Certified for what?

The QFD Institute was sanctioned by Dr. Akao in 2000 to certify several levels of QFD expertise. These include QFD Green Belt®, QFD Black Belt®, QFD Master Black Belt®, QFD Red Belt® and QFD Gold Belt® for management and executives.

The QFD Institute's QFD Belt Certificate program emphasizes mastery proven through competent application. In both in-house and public QFD Belt courses, students receive a provisional QFD Belt Certificate upon successful completion of the course. Full status is earned upon successful review of the students' QFD project using their tailored QFD process, submitted within a specified timeframe.

The Certificate holders are additionally required to attend the periodic QFD Green Belt® Update Course and QFD Black Belt® Update Course in order to keep their Certificate status current as well as to keep their skills at the cutting edge.

This assures the integrity of The QFD Institute's QFD Belt Certificate, ascertaining that full certificate holders who are licensed to certify others below their level are using the most up-to-date and comprehensive materials available anywhere in the world, according to the QFD Institute's Excellence in Training principles. A QFD Belt status may be verified by contacting the QFD Institute office.

How can I tell good QFD training from poor training?

Good QFD / ISO 16355 training will teach you the state-of-the-art global best practices and tools, and most efficient and sound deployments, including those that are now required by the ISO 16355 for new product development and innovation.

Good QFD / ISO 16355 training will teach you the differences between QFD for manufactured and assembled products, service and business process, food and chemical products, software, and small business. It will show you how to position your new product according to customer, competition, and corporate strategy.

A good QFD / ISO 16355 trainer knows how to custom-tailor the process and tools to your industry, product type, and organization. With custom-tailoring, QFD tools and flow will be integrated into your product development process, whether you follow Six Sigma, PACE®, Stage-Gates®, Concurrent Engineering, or other product development approaches.

QFD training, that uses bare-bones approach or gives the impression that the House of Quality or the 4-phase matrix analysis are all you need, may be inadequate or outdated, and it is often unsustainable.

See Best vs. Wors Practices.

Does your trainer know the difference? ...Classical QFD, Blitz QFD®, Reverse QFD

Do I need a QFD Green Belt® even though I have a Six Sigma (Master) Black Belt?

"I have been doing the '4-phase model QFD' process for over 15 years, leading QFD workshops and DFSS projects and earning a Six Sigma Black Belt. Why should I need to start all over from the QFD Green Belt® level? Why can’t I jump in the QFD Black Belt® program?"

This is a legitimate question that should not be treated lightly. The legacy issue, in fact, is one of the reasons why the QFD Belt Certificate program was created.

It also raises the issue why it is imperative for today’s business to update their quality practices, especially QFD and ISO 16355.

Best vs Worst Practices

What is the first step to take, in order to introduce QFD at my company?

Please contact us: qfdi AT qfdi DOT org (+1 206-203-3575) for questions about QFD and training.

Often, sending some employees to a public QFD Green Belt® Course and QFD Black Belt® Course is a good way for companies to find about how QFD may fit in their project and business.

The attendees of these courses are encouraged to bring a part of their marketing data, if feasible, so that they can begin applying QFD tools on their actual work project in the class (no need to reveal confidential data), rather than learning from a fictitious example. (see upcoming public courses)

Companies who are starting a project might wish to consider the In-house Training. The in-house QFD Green Belt® training includes Technical Review of your product development process and uses a QFD process and tool set that are custom-tailored to your unique project and business goals.

More companies are beginning to recognize the importantce of management support when they introduce a new idea such as QFD. We have a short management overview called QFD Gold Belt® Course that is perfect for busy executives, whose understanding and support is essential to your project success.

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about training and implementation.