History of QFD
QFD was developed in Japan in the late 1960s by Professors
Shigeru Mizuno and Yoji Akao. At the time, statistical quality control,
which was introduced after World War II, had taken roots in the Japanese manufacturing
industry, and the quality activities were being integrated with the teachings of
such notable scholars as Dr. Juran, Dr. Kaoru
Ishikawa, and Dr. Feigenbaum that emphasized the importance of making quality
control a part of business management, which eventually became known as TQC and
The purpose of Professors Mizuno and Akao was to develop a
quality assurance method that would design customer satisfaction into a product
before it was manufacturered. Prior quality control methods were
primarily aimed at fixing a problem during or after manufacturing.
The first large scale application was presented in 1966 by
Kiyotaka Oshiumi of Bridgestone Tire in Japan, which used a process assurance
items fishbone diagram to identify each customer requirement (effect) and to
identify the design substitute quality characteristics and process factors
(causes) needed to control and measure it.
In 1972, with the application of QFD to the design of an oil tanker at the Kobe
Shipyards of Mitsubishi Heavy Industry, the fishbone diagrams grew unwieldy.
Since the effects shared multiple causes, the fishbones could be refashioned
into a spreadsheet or matrix format with the rows being desired effects of
customer satisfaction and the columns being the controlling and measurable
At the same time, Katsuyoshi Ishihara introduced the Value Engineering
principles used to describe how a product and its components work. He expanded
this to describe business functions necessary to assure quality of the design
Merged with these new ideas, QFD eventually became the
comprehensive quality design system for both product and business process.
The introduction of QFD to America and Europe began in 1983 when the American
Society for Quality Control published Akao's work in Quality Progress and
Cambridge Research (today Kaizen Institute) invited Akao to give a QFD seminar
in Chicago. This was followed by several QFD lectures to American audiences
sponsored by Bob King and GOAL/QPC in
Together with the English publication of
QFD: The Customer-Driven Approach to Quality Planning and Deployment (1994
Quality Resources: ISBN92-833-1122-1; written by Mizuno and Akao; translated by
Glenn Mazur) and
QUALITY FUNCTION DEPLOYMENT: Integrating Customer Requirements into Product
Design (Productivity Press: ISBN 0-915299-41-0; written by Akao;
translated by Glenn Mazur and the staff at Japan Business Consultants for GOAL/QPC
for the first advanced QFD training outside Japan), QFD caught on across a wide
variety of industries in the U.S. and Western Europe. In the U.S., in
particular, because of its flexibility and comprehensiveness, the methodology
was eagerly embraced by the businesses that were facing the Japanese
competition. There, new and innovative applications of QFD were experimented by industries and businesses that were not reached before.
Japan has continued to push the envelope of QFD applications
through an on-going QFD Research Sub-Committee at the
Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE)
and their annual QFD Symposium established in 1993. They hosted the first
International Symposium on QFD and are a charter member of the International
Council for QFD.
Today, QFD continues to inspire strong interest around the
world, generating ever new applications, practitioners and researchers each
year. Countries that have held national and international QFD Symposium to this
day include the U.S., Japan, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Brazil, and Turkey.
® Copyright 1991-2010 Glenn
Mazur. All rights resreved.