17 November 2014

Upcoming Public QFD Courses
— Learn today's best methods and tools

All events listed here will be held at Charleston Marriott in Charleston, South Carolina USA. The 1-day Symposium on December 5, 2014 is complimentary to the course attendees.

Registration Page.
For questions, please contact the QFD Institute.
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QFD Green Belt® Certificate Course
December 3–4,  2014  (Wed & Thurs)

    QFD Green Belt® Certificate Course
  • Your chance to learn Modern Blitz QFD®.  
  • Learn how to do QFD analysis without the outdated 4-house matrices, without the resource-consuming House of Quality matrix.
  • Learn how to do a Gemba and VOC analysis, correctly identify and prioritize customer needs, transform them into design specifications of customer-value and innovative solutions, deploy them throughout your new product/service development process — with agility and efficiency essential to today's lean environment. 
  • Templates included (modern QFD, AHP, modern House of Quality, Maximum Value Table, and more).
  • No Prerequisites.

QFD Black Belt® Certificate Course
December 8–12,  2014  (Monday - Friday)

    QFD Black Belt® Certificate Course
  • Advanced QFD training for DFLS/DFSS black belts and master black belts, trainers, facilitators, innovation leaders, corporate training scouts, and anyone who is inspired to be a project leader.  
  • Learn the full depth and breadth of Modern Comprehensive QFD, including detailed instructions on how to correctly deploy a House of Quality matrix for its full power, with correct data input and prioritization.
  • Learn how to expertly integrate your own process and other quality and design methods such as DFLS, Hoshin, Kansei Engineering, TRIZ, Critical Chain, six sigma DMAIC, StageGates, DFMEA and more. 
  • Templates included (modern QFD, AHP, modern House of Quality, Maximum Value Table, and more), and over 1,000 pages of training manual.
  • Prerequisites: Qualified graduates of the QFD Green Belt® Courses.

If you have attended the above courses more than three years ago, now is the time to refresh your knowledge and skills in these semi-private coaching sessions:
    QFD Update Courses
  • QFD Green Belt® Update Course is the continuing education for QFD Green Belt® graduates. This half-day course is conveniently scheduled on December 7, 2014, 4 PM - 7:30 PM.
  • QFD Black Belt® Update Course is the continuing education for QFD Black Belt® graduates. Attendees of this full-day course on December 7, 2014 receive the latest copy of both QFD Green Belt® and QFD Black Belt® training manuals.
We look forward to meeting you in these Charleston QFD events.

11 November 2014

New Kano Model for better design decisions and hidden market opportunities

Many people wrongly assume that so-called Kano model (diagram on the right) describes the relationship between customer needs, fulfillment of product features, and satisfaction.

The1984 research, "Attractive Quality and Must-Be Quality" by N. Seraku, F. Takahashi, and N. Kano, Ph.D.,  measured satisfaction merely against the existence or absence of a feature. It did not and does not address customer needs.

Additionally, the Kano categories came from customer survey responding to inverse-paired questions. They were not and are not assigned by product engineers or producers.

The most serious error that people often make is the misleading "curved-arrow" that is often cited as shown in the above diagram. The inverse-paired question yields only two data points:  the "if" and the "if not". You can only draw a line (= linear) with two data points. It takes three data points to inscribe a curve!  This is why Glenn Mazur (QFD Institute), who translated Kano's original Japanese paper into English over two decades ago, wonders how many people who cite the Kano model actually read their study.

New Kano Model, www.qfdi.org/symposium.htmlThis problems 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, which adds the necessary questions to draw the "curve" and use it to reveal hidden market segments and extrapolate better design decisions.

Using the Modern QFD tools that are taught in the QFD Black Belt® course, you can then identify the invisible, moving target of customer satisfaction that the original Kano model does not address.

This new methodology will be presented at the 26th Symposium on QFD, December 5, 2014 in Charleston, South Carolina USA. It will include implementation examples of automotive industry, development of marketing and advertising content, as well as identifying clearer performance targets for each customer segment.

Everyone is welcomed at this symposium, regardless of your QFD knowledge.
Here is how to attend.

04 November 2014

New High in Customer Satisfaction

Forget everything you learned about customer satisfaction.

A Chinese noodle shop has found the secret to customer retention, that scores "higher" than any other approach we've seen.

Read here, Sept 24, 2014 CNN World reported by Katie Hunt

"Tasty or addictive," CNN report on a Chinese noodle

28 October 2014

Thomson Reuters 2014 Journal Citation Reports® recognizes "Using QFD to Write an ISO Standard"

Writing and publishing implies a level of authority on a particular subject. We say "imply" because it may not always be the case. There are numerous books, papers, and articles that suggest a certain expertise but fall short of delivering it.

The recent advent of self-publishing technology, without peer review, makes it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Even the Quality community is not immune.

That is why it was a pleasant surprise to receive a notification from Francis and Taylor, publishers of the Quality Engineering Journal, saying that a recent article by Glenn Mazur, "Using Quality Function Deployment to Write an ISO Standard for QFD,"  has been recognized by Thomson Reuters 2014 Journal Citation Reports® for improving Quality Engineering Journal Impact Factors.

Thomson Reuters 2014 Journal Citation Reports®
screen shot of Thomson Reuters JCR

Thomson Reuters is a major multinational media and information company based in New York City. Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports® measures how many times a particular article has been cited by peers, as an indicator of the article impact on the subject matter. This is what they say on their web page:

"Journal Citation Reports<sup>®</sup> offers a systematic, objective means to critically evaluate the world's leading journals, with quantifiable, statistical information based on citation data. By compiling articles' cited references, JCR helps to measure research influence and impact at the journal and category levels, and shows the relationship between citing and cited journals. Available in Science and Social Sciences editions."

Hooray for Glenn Mazur, executive director of the QFD Institute and also one of the contributors of this QFD Blog. He also shares his expertise often in the QFD Institute Newsletter, which is free and you can subscribe from here. He will be speaking at the December 5, 2014 Symposium on QFD.

 Thomson Reuters® and Journal Citation Reports® are registered marks of Thomson Reuters.

23 October 2014

Healthcare QFD examples - October 30, 2014 in Orlando, Florida

Modern QFD has been used successfully in the healthcare industry, from clinical gemba such as hospitals and medical labs, to health insurance industry and medical device development including Electronic Medical Records.

Healthcare QFD methods and tools will be presented on October 30, 2014 at ASQ Technical Communities Conference in Orlando, Florida USA.

The talk, "Delighting Customers in Health Care Using QFD" (1:45 pm - 2:45 pm), will share the case studies of a hospital, healthcare insurance company, and medical device development to show how you, too, can acquire, analyze, prioritize, and innovate solutions for the Voice of Customer.

We hope you will be able to join us!

17 October 2014

Is it mean to mean different things with the same words?

One strength of Modern Blitz QFD® and its powerful voice of customer analysis toolset is a way to more deeply understand the customer's words, since different cultures, regions, age groups, sexes, and so forth can use the same words to mean different things.

The other day, I was listening to the rock opera Tommy by the Who, and in the song Pinball Wizard is the line "…sure plays a mean pinball." Even though I have heard that song a hundred times or more, it suddenly occurred to me, does that mean he plays average pinball or above average pinball?

If you ask us quality specialists, "mean" means average. If you ask us hippies (the album was released in 1969), "mean" means wickedly good, and certainly better than average. Same word, different meaning depending on who says it and in what context.

In his hilarious book Dave Barry Does Japan, the author offers a translation table. My favorite is "We will study your proposal" translated into American English as "We will feed your proposal to a goat."

(we will feed your proposal to a goat)

My point is this, QFD should start with the voice of the customer, but that voice must be translated in order to understand its true meaning.

13 October 2014

New QFD Group in LinkedIn

The QFD Institute is pleased to launch a new LinkedIn Group devoted to conversations, Q&A, and announcements about QFD activities. It is moderated by the Executive Director, Glenn Mazur.

To join this new group,
1. You must have a free LinkedIn account, which you can easily join at www.linkedin.com
2. In the search box, type "qfd institute" and select the QFD Institute Group.

3. Click "Join" and join the conversation.

While there are other QFD-named groups, it appears they have gone "ghost" or "zombie" where the underlying moderator no longer exists or participates.

This new QFD LinkedIn group is for professionals who are serious about learning and implementing QFD and relevant methodologies for design, quality, new product development, business process innovation, VOC, innovation, etc.

We invite you to ask a question, post a comment, like something, or follow the QFD Institute.

22 September 2014

Bad customers causing problems? Only sell to good ones, then.

At a dinner party last week, one of my friends who recently retired as an automotive safety engineer was discussing the latest recall in airbags. It reminded me of an Automotive News article I had read decades ago about a seatbelt manufacturer that had to recall millions of seatbelt buckles because the plastic retainer was breaking.

As I recall, the article quoted an employee of one international seatbelt supplier blaming the American customer because they eat fried potatoes and have dogs in their cars. Apparently, the salt, oil, and pet hair was weakening the plastic part.

QFD thinking tells us that if you want to sell in America, your product must be robust to reasonable American use – in this case food and pets in the cars. Otherwise, DON'T sell in America. Blaming the customer moves the responsibility from you, the maker to the customer. If you blame the maker, who has control over your design, you can effect a solution. If you blame the customer, over whom you have no control, the only solution is to get better customers. Good luck with that!

23 August 2014

QFD in Europe - Reporting 2014 QFD activities across EU

2014 has been a big year for QFD in Europe.
The statue of Poseidon in Gothenburg
photo: Historiker/Wiki Commons
  1. The spring blossomed with QFD Green Belt® and QFD Black Belt® in-company training sessions in Nuremberg Germany, Prague Czech Republic, and Waterloo Belgium. Several projects are well under way.
  2. The summer heated up with a June QFD workshop during the International Academy for Quality (IAQ) annual meeting in Stenungsbaden Sweden, using QFD tools to capture the voice of the IAQ membership (including our Chair, Sr. Mary Jean Ryan) in order to explore ways to improve the membership experience. The session was followed by an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet and musical dinner cruise!
  3. Next was a special Pre-EOQ Congress session in Gothenburg Sweden attended by 37 participants. This included a 2.5 hour QFD White Belt® training session to introduce the new VOC (Voice of the Customer) and AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) tools used in Modern Blitz QFD®.
  4. In the main European Organization for Quality (EOQ) session was a paper on the ISO 16355 standard (new QFD standard).
  5. Vienna
    photo: Eliza0027/Wiki Commons
  6. The ISO Technical Committee (TC) 69 for Statistical Methods held its annual plenary session in Vienna Austria later in June. We were able to finalize the ISO 16355 draft and launch its commentary phase. Work on Parts 2 and 3 have begun.
  7. The autumn is ablaze with new events, starting with the 20th International Symposium on QFD (ISQFD) as well as a
    QFD Green Belt® course to be held in Istanbul Turkey from September 2 - 5, 2014.  This is a great opportunity for readers in EU and ME regions to attend the today's best QFD training and earn an international QFD certificate.
  8. The 2014 Akao Prize® is being awarded to Associate Prof. Jaroslav Machan of the Czech Republic during the ISQFD.

Keep up the good work, Europe. I will update you on Turkey soon!

14 May 2014

The Quality Conference Crush has begun…

Well, the American Society for Quality (ASQ) World Conference on Quality Improvement (WCQI) has come and gone, and I must say for me, it was a tremendous success.

Hilton Anatole Dallas was ASQ WCQI venue
First, it was held in what could only be described as a museum of Asian art – the Hilton Anatole in Dallas Texas. Yes, it took 20 minutes to walk across the lobby to the ASQ center, but the art and the gardens were a welcomed distraction to stave off the fatigue of doing this 3-4 times a day. (I lost a pound of weight despite the never-ending buffets for lunch and dinner!)

Presentations by leading CEOs, a sketch artist, and others reminded us that quality should also include – fun!  2015 is in Nashville at the OpryLand, so I recommend y'all come on down

ASQ Division meetings I attended for Healthcare and Service are revising their Body of Knowledges (BOK) and I am pushing to modernize the QFD entries. Some of them are stuck in the 1980s!  I also popped in to the TAG 176 meeting to hear the latest on ISO 9001-2015. This is a BIG thing.

Concurrent with the ASQ were the annual U.S. meetings of the International Academy for Quality (IAQ) of which I am now Secretary-Treasurer. Our general meeting included updates on work with UNESCO educations projects, work on quality in governance. We had really great introductions on design of experiments for wine and the growth in food and product safety testing in China. I also learned a lot from a presentation on the early philosophers whose work is often cited by quality professionals.
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Coming up is the IAQ concurrent meetings with the European Organization for Quality (EOQ) to be held in Gothenburg Sweden in June. I'll be presenting a Pre-Congress workshop and a paper on the new ISO 16355 standard for QFD being developed.

The ISO 16355 QFD standard is going into its first draft to be reviewed in June in Vienna, so I'll be traveling there after Sweden. Stay informed with the ISO 16355 group on LinkedIn.

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2014 ISQFD in Istanbul
Istanbul Turkey is my next stop. The basics of the Modern Blitz QFD® and the ISO 16355 standard will be taught at the International QFD Green Belt® course on 2-3 September 2014. We're running a great early bird discount, so register soon.

On 4-5 September is the International Symposium on QFD (ISQFD) where we will celebrate 20 years of this annual get-together of the top QFD professionals in the world. Especially folks in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, we are close to home.

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The ASQ Technical Communities Conference has invited me to Orlando Florida (yeah Mickey!) to present "Delighting Customers in Health Care using QFD" on 30-31 October 2014. This will include updates on recent projects in clinical, medical device, software, and insurance applications. 
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For three consecutive years, Charleston was named
the top U.S. destination by Conde Nest readers.
Charleston SC is our chosen spot for the North American Symposium on QFD.

Our 26th consecutive program still has the Call for Papers open (we want you!) and will include updates on ISO 16355.

 As always, we will offer the QFD Green Belt®, QFD Black Belt® and the Update courses.

Some great package discounts await your registration.  

So, wherever you are this year, try to catch one of these events. At the least, stay in touch because your official source for QFD is on the move.


28 April 2014

The importance of understanding what the customer really means

Dr. Tom Saaty (founder of AHP) in his 17th "Thinking Man's Jokebook" (1994), tells this story, paraphrased here.

Yggdrasil (Norse mythology tree) and rocks, painted by Oluf Olufsen Bagge 1847
Norse mythology tree and rocks,
painted by Oluf Olufsen Bagge 1847
Wikipedia Commons
Two anthropologists travel to two remote islands to study the natives. After a few months, one visits his colleague on the other island to compare notes.

"How is it going?" he asks. The other replies, "I have discovered an important fact about their language. Watch."

He points to a tree and asks "what is that?" The natives reply in unison, "umbalo-gong."  Then he points to a rock and asks "what is that?" The natives reply in unison, "umbalo-gong."

The anthropologist exclaims "You see, they use the same word for tree and for rock."

The visiting anthropologist is astonished and replies, "That is truly amazing. On the other island, the same word means 'index finger.'"

So take care to analyze the voice of the customer. Use at least two people, preferably a marketing type and a technology type, to look at the context and the words, translate into product-independent needs, and validate with the customer with the affinity diagram, hierarchy diagram, and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP).

06 April 2014

QFD training in Dallas and Istanbul

Here are two opportunities to learn the modern QFD and best practices from one of the top QFD instructors around the world.  

Both courses include your copy of the Modern QFD training manual, Modern QFD templates, and case studies. No Prerequisites.

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 May 7–8, 2014
Dallas, Texas USA

This course will be held conveniently following the 2014 ASQ World Congress, in a venue next door. Registration is in progress. The attendees of this course will be eligible for the December 2014 QFD Black Belt® Certificate Course in Charleston (a discount will be offered). 

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September 2–3, 2014
Istanbul, Turkey

This course will be held conveniently at the same venue as the 2014 International Symposium on QFD. To mark the inaugural QFD course in Istanbul, the QFD Institute is offering significant price breaks for early registrations. We encourage you to take advantage of this and sign up now!

    19 March 2014

    Call For Papers -- 2014 Symposium on QFD

    The QFD Institute is issuing a Call For Papers for The 26th Symposium on QFD, scheduled for December 5, 2014 in Charleston, South Carolina USA.

    We invite you to send a paper proposal by May 31, 2014.

    People of all countries and industries are welcome. Come share your QFD experience and research -- how QFD helped your product and business development, unique applications and innovative methods, your QFD journey, the challenges you faced, things you learned, etc.

    photo of Angel Oak Tree in Charleston
    Photo: Angel Oak in Charleston

    Typical presentation topics include:
    • Case studies reporting QFD applications for Design Quality, New Product/Service Development, Voice of Customer (VOC), Marketing and Strategy, etc.
    • Integration case studies involving DFSS/DFLS, DMAIC, New Kano Model, Kansei Engineering, TRIZ, Phase-Gates, etc.
    • Proposals for enhancement methods and tools for QFD
    • Academic research, and more.
    Both completed projects and those in the progress are candidates for presentation. Speaker benefits include special discounts for the popular QFD Certificate Courses, publication of your paper in the QFD Institute Symposium Transactions, and more.

    For questions, please contact the QFD Institute.

    14 March 2014

    Bonehead specs are not customer needs

    An automotive customer may demand these things from its vendor, for example:
    • Performance level or specifications
    • Features or functions
    • Specific hardware or methods
    • Complaint solutions or failure mode prevention
    • Lower prices, etc.
    In concept, the product performance, features, and methods outlined by the automaker may seem exciting. But sometimes satisfying these requirements still fails to satisfy the end customers (consumers).

    Similarly, customers may express desires for such things as speed, engine power, braking performance, roomy interior, and so forth for a new car. Often these requirements show up in customer surveys, focus groups, various marketing research and even in consumer magazines.

    The problem is that what you get from these stated requirements are specifications, not "customer needs." People often confuse the two. The distinction is critical for successful new product development.

    "The stated customer wants are only a starting point in design. What they said they want is the best guesstimate of what they think the producer could deliver," says Glenn Mazur, executive director of the QFD Institute. "In New Product Development (NPD), the goal should be creating the future experience and value for the customers."

    This is how to better-understand this:

    The relationship between the customer needs and what customers tell you is similar to a fishbone diagram, with needs representing the "head" or a desired effect, and the specifications, functions, components, materials, etc. representing the "bones" or causal factors.

    Customers are experts in "heads" and producers are experts in "bones." When customers give your bones instead of heads, you get "bonehead specs" ☺ where the customer mistakenly thinks their stated specs will meet their unstated needs. Then. when the product is delivered, it fails to fit their use, and they scream.

    In the above automotive industry example,
    Classical QFD using a 4-phase model and House of Quality matrix would lump all of the customer-stated requirements together and attempt to prioritize the results.  When you approach NPD that way, price and complaint issues dominate, and innovative product development gets inhibited.

    Modern QFD, on the contrary, has specific tools for these:
    • Identify what are product features and specs vs. what are customer needs
    • Uncover 'unstated' customer needs
    • Identify the unknown unknowns
    • Determine what are 'true' customer needs (the foundation for highly competitive products)
    • Set the needs priorities correctly
    Modern QFD tools are strongest where you want to make a difference by widening the gap between merely meeting product specifications vs. satisfying the customer.

    To truly build the "true customer needs" and innovation in your New Product Development, rather than the same old fixes of complaints and cost-pinching, we invite you to come learn the Modern QFD in the next public courses.

    This advice also applies to those who have been doing Classical QFD for many years or learned the old QFD from books.

    04 February 2014

    I'd like my QFD sunny-side up!

    You've earned your Spring Break from the coldest, snowiest winter in recent memory.
    Come to Orlando, Florida for the next QFD Green Belt® training course on March 6–7, 2014.

    Learn modern QFD tools to translate voice of customer into unspoken customer needs, get accurate priorities, and operationalize innovative solutions to what matters most.

    Blitz QFD® uses simple Excel sheets (provided) to feed into, and often replace, the House of Quality and other matrices. Can be applied to systems, modules, components — for hardware, software, service, and healthcare. Bring your own project for the workshops.

    (QFD Green Belt® Course in Orlando FL)
    Online Brochure   |   PDF Brochure   |   Registration

    The course has these components:

    • Workshop 1: Defining project goals and outcomes. (Project Goals Table)
    • Workshop 2: Defining key customers and stakeholders, and their applications/scenarios. (Customer Segments Table)
    • Workshop 3: Planning customer visits (gemba) to see for ourselves, and model what they say and do. (Customer Process Model)
    • Workshop 4: Documenting what goes right (and is to be protected) and wrong (and is to be improved) based on voice of customer and observational study. (Gemba Visit Table)
    • Workshop 5: Translate voice of customer into true customer needs, both spoken and unspoken. (Customer Voice Table)
    • Workshop 6: Structure customers needs to find missing ones. (Affinity Diagram and Hierarchy Diagram).
    • Workshop 8: Deploy high priority needs into solution requirements and concepts. Assure quality in deliver. (Maximum Value Table).
    • Discussion on advanced QFD tools for competitive assessment (Quality Planning Table), complex projects (Modern House of Quality), Emotional Quality (Kansei Engineering), etc.
    • Implementing QFD in your organization.

    Course includes workbook, Excel tool templates for workshops, and related case studies. Bring your own projects for the workshops.

    30 January 2014

    Shakespeare's Gemba

    While ago, I nominated Champlain as my Mr. Gemba ("I get my kicks from Champlain").

    (stain glass image of Polonius)
    Here are more Gemba wisdom for you, one from the literature masterpiece and another from today's TV show.

    Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 3, Lord Polonius advises Laertes.
    • Listen twice as much as you speak.
    • Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice
    • Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment

    Today's TV star Judge Judy puts it more directly:
    "God gave your two ears and one mouth for a reason."

    I believe the #1 gemba tool is a piece of tape across the lips of every QFD team member.

    When we are silent, the customer fills the silence with gold – his take on his life and business, what he likes and dislikes. This is the true VOC from which we can begin to understand his needs.