Deployment of the quality function: what it is and characteristics

There is a very diverse typology when it comes to quality management systems, and each organization chooses the model that suits it best.

In all existing alternatives, one of the most striking is the deployment of the quality function, A methodology that we will discover throughout these paragraphs to be clear on its functionalities and the advantages it offers compared to other different models.

    What is the deployment of the quality function?

    The deployment of the quality function is a typology of quality management, the basis is to seek it through the needs observed among consumers of our product, We therefore adapt our products to improve quality and thus meet user demands. It is also known by the acronym QFD, which corresponds to the English name of Quality Function Deployment. In this way, the company will constantly adapt to offer the perfect product.

    To achieve this goal, the company must adopt changes in its production method that achieve the greatest possible increase in quality, at all levels, both in the general process and in the sub-processes, as well as in the concrete elements that make up each task during manufacture. the product. We would therefore talk about what the deployment of the quality function is a complete system that is evenly distributed from start to finish of the manufacturing process.

    Its versatility makes the deployment of the quality function a method applicable to the generation of innumerable products or services, whatever the type of market in which they are located. However, it is true that it is particularly successful in the field of new technologies. Geographically, it has spread remarkably in Japanese companies, and it is because Japan is a country characterized by industries which constantly adapt to the most pioneering models, in search of excellence.

    Originally, the deployment of the quality function was considered an appropriate method for companies that manufactured products, but it was quickly discovered that these ideas were also applicable to emerging sectors, such as software (software).What turned out to be a wonderful methodology for optimizing the processes of very disparate industries. It is the quality that has made this quality management system so popular.


    In the discipline of deploying the quality function, there is a whole series of tools with which this system seeks to achieve its objectives. Let’s take a look at some of the most important.

    1. Quality house

    The quality house is probably the concept most associated with the deployment of the quality function, so much so that there is debate as to whether it is a variant of this method or simply a tool. complementary to its use. It consists of a diagram that looks like a house, hence its name, in which all requests made by users are placed with the capabilities of the company to execute them, so that they are all interdependent.

    The elements that are linked are the “what”, that is to say what users want, by assigning a level of importance, with the “how”, which would be the variables of our product which, changing, can respond to these requests made to us by customers. By making this relationship, we can easily see which variables meet one or more demands, how well they do, and how important they are, so that we can build a plan of action with reasonably sound criteria.

    There is a whole series of templates and tutorials out there for any business that wants to use this methodology in pursuit of improving the quality of their products and services, as many organizations have already done. The appeal of the quality home is the simplicity of its approach and the visually intuitive result of its layout., Which makes it perfect to be able to benefit from the deployment of the quality function in an easily affordable way.

      2. Pugh matrix

      Another tool frequently used to apply this method is the Pugh Matrix, a decision matrix created by Stuart Pugh, from which it takes its name. Its function is compare a whole series of models taking into account all the criteria necessary for our production. In this way, we will get a table in which, with a quick glance, we can check the strengths and weaknesses of each of them and to what extent they meet the wishes of our consumers.

      It is a fantastic method to quantitatively assess the validity of all our alternatives, and thus to be able to make an objective decision, based on real data, which will increase the chances of success in the production process and thus obtain a high quality service. . or product, as all users ask us. For this reason, the Pugh Matrix is ​​also very popular in the quality function deployment methodology.

      3. Deployment of the modular function

      Another tool related to the QFD method is the deployment of the modular function. Thanks to this system, we obtain another type of diagram, where we also compare customer requests with design criteria, By doing it this time by modules, and without obtaining in the comparison the “roof” so characteristic of the quality house. This is another good method of making estimates and being able to compare different production design options, being able to choose the one that benefits us the most.

      4. Hoshin Kanri

      Hoshin Kanri is another methodology, in this case that emerged in Japan after WWII, for establishing seven-step business strategies. It is a management system in its own right, rather than a tool, but it is also linked to the deployment of the quality function, because some companies decide to use them in a complementary way, taking advantage of the advantages that the two techniques that they bring. them.

      5. Administration by objectives

      As in the previous case, administration by objectives, or direction by objectives, is a very extensive management method, in this case used by establish lines of action and provide guidance for decision-making. This is another system that has been chosen by some companies at the same time as the deployment of the quality function, in search of maximum process optimization and a search for the highest quality in the final products created by the company.

        QFD blur

        Numerous studies have been carried out that revise the original concept of deploying the quality function to relate it to fuzzy logic, giving rise to the fuzzy call QFD, or FQFD (by the initial of fuzzy, in English). Fuzzy (or fuzzy) logic relies on establishing relationships between values ​​in a relative wayThat is, between them and not around a general scale (A is greater than B, but we don’t know if A is a high value per se).

        Fuzzy logic offers an advantage and makes it easier for us to compare the values ​​we use, without having to have an absolute measurement scale in which to measure each one. In this way, we can compare all the elements we have in the diagram of the deployment of the quality function and quickly know which one is the most optimal for our objective.

        this variant it is gaining popularity in personnel selection systems, to be able to make comparisons between the scores of candidates in different processes, some of which are difficult to standardize at scale, so that thanks to the diffuse QFD, the procedure is simplified and it is much easier to be able to compare the results between one individual and another, however ambiguous it may be . first the odds.

        In addition, this is another example of how the deployment of the quality function adapts to any area of ​​business activity, not just simple production. objects, but to specific processes such as the selection of personnel, because in this sense a comparison can be drawn between what is required of us (the characteristics of the place) and the variables that we can modulate, which in the end is the basis on which it is based. methodology.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Escobar, O., Sofia, E., Rodríguez, C., Julio, C., Velasco, D., Germán, O. (2005). Deployment of the quality function (QFD): benefits and limitations detected in its application to the design of myoelectric hand prostheses. Engineering and research magazine.
        • Gutiérrez, H., Gutiérrez, P., Garibay, C., Díaz, L. (2014). Multivariate analysis and QFD as tools to hear the voice of the customer and improve the quality of service. Chilean Journal of Engineering.
        • Osorio, JC, Arango, DC, Ruales, CE (2011). Selection of suppliers thanks to the deployment of the diffuse quality function. EIA Magazine.

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