V.B.1 Customer needs

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Quality function deployment (QFD), is a methodology that helps translate a customer voice input on needs / wants from qualitative constructs into operational requirements. Using a tool called House of Quality, we are able look into the relationships (correlations) between customer needs and product characteristics, and use these to set priorities in the way a product is designed or delivered. In this way, QFD translates the customers’ voice into product and service characteristics that will result in increased levels of customer satisfaction.

Excerpt From The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence Handbook

QFD has been used to develop products that delight the customer by providing features that are beyond their stated requirements. In many cases, the customer did not know that these options were possible, so they were not on a list of needs or priorities. By comparing the customer’s requirements to product and service features, the company typically focuses on identifying and prioritizing the agreements and gaps. From this analysis, innovative new offerings are more likely to become apparent. These can provide a greater probability of moving the company into the “delighting” quality level. Findings from a competitive analysis may also identify opportunities for significant improvement.

From Wikipedia:
Quality function deployment (QFD) is a method developed in Japan beginning in 1966 to help transform the voice of the customer into engineering characteristics for a product.[1][2] Yoji Akao, the original developer, described QFD as a "method to transform qualitative user demands into quantitative parameters, to deploy the functions forming quality, and to deploy methods for achieving the design quality into subsystems and component parts, and ultimately to specific elements of the manufacturing process."[1] The author combined his work in quality assurance and quality control points with function deployment used in value engineering.
The house of quality, a part of QFD,[3] is the basic design tool of quality function deployment.[4] It identifies and classifies customer desires, identifies the importance of those desires, identifies engineering characteristics which may be relevant to those desires, correlates the two, allows for verification of those correlations, and then assigns objectives and priorities for the system requirements.[2] This process can be applied at any system composition level (e.g. system, subsystem, or component) in the design of a product, and can allow for assessment of different abstractions of a system.[2] The house of quality appeared in 1972 in the design of an oil tanker by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.[4]

Quality Management BOK Reference
V Customer Focused Organizations
V.B Customer Relationship Management
V.B.1 Customer needs - Use quality function deployment (QFD) to analyze customer needs in relation to products and services offered. Use the results of the analysis to prioritize new, future development in anticipation of changing customer needs.

Additional Resources
Back to the Customer Focused Organizations CMC
Back to the Quality Management Body of Knowledge
Introduction to Quality Function DeploymentIntroduction to Quality Function DeploymentThis is a brief video presentation that explains Quality Function Deployment178368 KB
Quality Function Deployment ToolQuality Function Deployment Tool78 KB


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That is correct. The house of Quality is but one tool with regard to Quality Function Deployment and QFD is but one method for determining customer needs. The house of quality seems to be the tool most people recognize when QFD is mentioned. The error appears to be written into the current version of the CMQ/OE handbook. We have a team currently working on the 5th Edition of the handbook and will have this corrected. I will also bring this to the attention of the content team that owns this page. 

As you can probably tell, this body of knowledge item is not fully developed yet. This page (and all the BoK pages on this site) are more like placeholders for content as we build out the quality management body of knowledge. This is a years long project. We have a team of thought leaders led by Jeff Israel developing the content for all the items in the Customer Focused Organizations section of the quality management BoK. References to the CMQ/OE Handbook and Wikipedia seen on this page will be replaced by a better description. The uploaded files will be reviewed and vetted by the team.

This page was put together to demonstrate the possibilities. While my hope is this resource provides some value as-is, it is not what you can expect as item V.B.1 Customer needs is fully developed by the team.

Thank you for the feedback. It is truly appreciated. We will take any advice for how this page should be constructed so that it is correct.

Best Regards,
Jerry Rice
ASQ Quality Management Division  
  • Posted Tue 19 Mar 2019 11:31 AM CDT
The first paragraph has been corrected to more accurately describe the relationship between QFD and the House of Quality. The page content will be completely revamped once the Customer Focused Organizations content committee focuses on this page.


  • Posted 39 mins ago
QFD is NOT a house of quality (HOQ), according to the late Yoji Akao, founder of the method. HOQ is just one instance of just one tool in the QFD methodology. Modern QFD makes the HOQ an option by inserting a more efficient tool set ahead of it. The new ISO 16355 standard for QFD goes through all the details of implementing both classical and modern QFD methods. The standard also corrects the ordinal scale math errors.
  • Posted Tue 19 Mar 2019 09:44 AM CDT

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Jerry Rice
Jerry Rice
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Date Added: Sep 5, 2018
Date Last Modified: Mar 20, 2019
Category: Resources