Quality function deployment (QFD)

Skill level: Intermediate/advanced


Quality function deployment (QFD) integrates customer requirements (voice of the customer, or VOC) into the design and delivery of a service offering. The primary tool used in QFD is known as the “house of quality,” which helps facilitate group decision-making.

In service industries, QFD is primarily used to determine the priorities of customer requirements in order to target the focus of service offerings and delivery. Since the scope of QFD is broad, this discussion will focus on explaining the house of quality.


  • Service offerings are built and prioritized on objective customer needs and requirements
  • Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Increased customer utilization, sales, and share of wallet

How to Use

  • Step 1.  Determine customer requirements.
  • Step 2.  Determine the functional or “critical to customer” (CTC) requirements. CTCs must be measurable.
  • Step 3.  Prioritize customer requirements using the following point scale: high/strong (9), medium/moderate (3), and low/weak (1).
  • Step 4.  Complete the correlation matrix (see sample below).
  • Step 5.  Complete the house of quality with the conflicts and synergies matrix.

Relevant Definitions

Voice of the customer (VOC): A method of gathering and incorporating the customer’s expectations, aversions, and preferences related to service delivery.

Critical to customer: The requirements the customer must have for service to meet expectations.


A company is asked to install a new computer server system at a customer’s facilities to better serve growing demands for more information and faster response time. The company appoints a team to ensure the new system includes customer requirements.

After conducting a series of interviews and focus groups with the information technology resources from a carefully chosen sample size, the team captures the VOC and enters the data into the customer needs section of the house of quality. The team also determines the relative importance of these needs to customers.

The engineering group develops the functional requirements and evaluates their values, as shown in the correlation matrix below.


Additional resources: www.qfdonline.com


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