Quality Function Deployment, usually the abbreviation QFD is used. It is a method which is the de-facto part of the framework APQP. The method comes from the Japanese school of quality. It has been described and invented by Dr. Yoji Akao in 1966. It is one of the methods used in the automotive industry, but can be used in a general way, because it helps to carry the customer’s requirements to the product, and thus directly supports the definition of quality (see the quote on customer requirements).
Use of the QFD in practice: QFD is used for quality planning in the development of customer requirements into product requirements. It therefore converts customer requirements to product characteristics. It uses large graphic visual aids (QFD matrix) that always represent input and output. It provides visual monitoring of customer needs through to production. Experience shows that with this method occurs:
- Reducing the number of product changes
- Reducing the cost of the product development
- Shorten the product development time
- Transfer the customer requirements into the final product