Kano Analysis

Skill level: Intermediate


Kano analysis is based on customer wants, needs, must haves, and must-not haves. It was developed by Dr. Noriaki Kano, who called these factors “surprise and delight,” “more is better,” “must be,” and “cannot haves.”


  • Provides a framework for process design or improvement
  • Identifies and prioritizes the full range of customers’ needs

How to Use

  • Step 1.  Determine who the customer is.
  • Step 2.  Determine what the customer must have in the process.
  • Step 3.  Determine what the customer thinks the process cannot have.
  • Step 4.  Determine what the customer thinks are surprise and delight factors.
  • Step 5.  Determine what the customer thinks are more is better factors.
  • Step 6.  Design the process or service with the collected data in mind.

Relevant Definitions

Must-be needs: Needs that the customer expects (e.g., airline safety). If must-be needs are unfulfilled, the customer is dissatisfied.

More is better: Needs that have a linear effect on customer satisfaction (e.g., faster airport
check-in).  The more these needs are met, the more satisfied customers are.

Surprise and delight: Needs that do not cause dissatisfaction when not present, but that satisfy the customer when they are present (serving hot chocolate chip cookies during an airline flight).

Cannot haves: What the customer will not allow to be in the service (i.e., rudeness).


A process improvement team seeks to change the dining room for a restaurant. The team conducts a survey of current customers, collecting demographic data and asking what the customers like and don’t like about the current dining room, what they would like to see, and what would keep them away.

All of the data are tabulated and the dining room is designed to ensure that it includes every must have and no cannot haves. Once that is complete, the team works to add in as many needs as possible, followed by as many wants as possible.


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