QFD not just a tool but a way of quality management

C.P.M. Govers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)
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Implementing QFD needs understanding of the "philosophy" behind the tool. Discrepancies in points of view and culture lead to different approaches of the methodology. Most attention in literature relates to the benefits of QFD or to the more or less "technical" aspects of the method. Mostly comments on implementation and use are mentioned quite summarily. QFD in fact is a method of continuous product improvement, emphasising the impact of organisational learning on innovation. It must not be seen as just an "ad hoc" tool for the development of a particular product neither will it lead to "perfect" products. QFD has to become part of a company's culture. From that perspective it should belong to the management process. Because of that "cultural change" we will encounter quite specific implementation problems. Implementation problems can be categorised into three groups: methodological problems, organisational problems and problems concerning product policy. Besides the problem of information gathering, the biggest problems are of an organisational nature. Characteristics of western management can limit the effectiveness of the technique. Special attention must be paid to product policy and cross-functional project approach to make this tool a valuable technological and organisational aid for innovation projects. Based on document and case studies from the USA and the Netherlands we will reflect upon differences between the Japanese and "Western" practices and resulting implementation problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-159
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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