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!