Along with the late Dr. Shigeru Mizuno, Dr. Yoji Akao is the founder of QFD.
As far back as the 1960s, he was exploring ways to apply powerful Japanese problem solving algorithms to designing products right the first time. Initially using a "fish bone" diagram, his more complex analyses led to a matrix to identify the design elements which would impact customer satisfaction the greatest.
Dr. Akao is one of the few to receive the prestigious Deming Prize for Individuals as well as the Best on Quality Award from International Academy for Quality. He was also awarded the inaugural Distinguished Service Medal from the American Society for Quality.
He is an author of many published articles and books including "Quality Function Deployment: Integrating Customer Requirements into Product Design" (ISBN: 0-915299-41-0) and "QFD: The Customer-Driven Approach to Quality Planning & Deployment" (ISBN 9283311221).
Dr. Akao is chairman of the International Council for QFD and the senior advisor to the QFD Institute.
The Akao Prize®, established in his honor, is awarded to individuals around the world who have demonstrated Excellence in their practice and contributed to advancement of QFD through many years of advanced research, dissemination, and active leadership in the international QFD community.