What do we mean by Managing
On one hand, it implies a sense of intention
and predetermination, and on the other it reflects a spirit of
creativity, free-thinking and innovation.
Both perspectives should be true of effective
management, and you will find both heavily represented in the
pages of this book. But more than this, Managing by Design
reflects the conscious application of a design perspective within
the responsibilities of management.
QFD (Quality Function Deployment) originated
in Japan, and is essentially a methodology for translating a
set of ambitious goals into a confident and compelling strategy.
By means of a simple matrix, QFD maps the responsibility for
delivering the objectives onto the various processes by which
they will be fulfilled. The matrix provides an opportunity to
move beyond simple one-to-one relationships to explore all the
potential synergies and creative possibilities that exist (or
may be made to exist).
QFD is unique among quality tools, in that
it focuses entirely on the processes of origination and creativity.
It does its work well before the concepts are cast, before boundaries
are set, and because of this it has the potential to transform
rather than to simply correct.
Using parallel formats of textbook and novel,
'Managing by Design' tells the story of one organisation's transformation
through QFD, and provides the guidance, tools and practical illustrations
for you to repeat it for your own organisation.
Synopsis (Excerpt from the introduction
of the book)
A new battleground
say that the world is getting smaller; that the Internet, and
worldwide communication is turning us into the global village.
But for me, and probably for you, the opposite is true. I live
in a village in England, I regularly exchange information with
a colleague in mainland Europe, I buy my books from an American
bookshop (yes that one!), and I access information from all around
the world. And every time I want to buy something, I am faced
with literally thousands of options, from hundreds of different
In a very practical sense, our world is not
getting smaller; it is getting much bigger. Businesses now have
competitors they have never even heard of, in places they'll
probably never see. Some of these businesses are old and established,
and have just had the barriers of distance and communication
lowered enough to compete. Some of them are brand new or in fields
up to now not considered as competition, but the barriers of
habit and history have fallen away.
What is more, the overwhelming vista of options
that are now available to potential customers has spawned a new
web-based industry; of agencies that gain power and influence
by guiding people through the many choices that they face. They
collate the options, and provide objective comparisons to make
the choice quicker and simpler. Increasingly, potential purchasers
can see comprehensive information on a business's offering, performance
and track record, and compare it instantly with its competitors'.
with different rules
these two factors - increasing competition and ready comparison
- are demanding a huge shift in the mindset of business. Historically,
constraints on choice and information have provided a degree
of stability in most markets. Competitiveness has been sustained
by incremental improvements such as reducing waste and overhead
costs, and steadily improving product and service quality. But
now markets are more immediately susceptible to new solutions,
to creative alliances, and to innovative ways of working; and
failure to keep pace is being rapidly exposed, and exploited.
It is no longer enough for businesses simply
to consider how to do the same thing a bit better or a bit quicker.
The competition has become bigger and more aggressive. The future
is not linear with the past. Businesses will only survive if
they can grasp fully the emerging risks and opportunities of
their new situations, and configure the best of their organisation
and resources to meet them in new and creative ways.
Fortunately the problem is, at least in part,
also the solution. The same forces that are pressing organisations
to step-up their competitive game are also providing a far greater
wealth of options and opportunities for doing so.
Unfortunately, traditional methods of business
planning provide little facility for handling the resulting complexity;
and managing complexity - configuring a wealth of creative options
to deliver ground breaking performance - is what business in
the new century is all about.
Sadly, the lack of good approaches for deploying
ambitious goals, and the consequences of getting things wrong,
have driven managers to maintain a conservative approach to business
planning; the very antithesis of what is now needed. As a result,
they have set mediocre goals; perpetuated inferior practices;
failed to inspire the imagination of their people; and have seen
survival as success. Most companies have consistently failed
to harness the full creativity and enterprise of their organisation
to achieve anything like their full potential, because of the
weakness of traditional methods for business planning. In the
future, this will prove fatal.
needs new weapons!
is therefore clear that, if organisations are to be empowered
to thrive in the new business world, they will need far more
effective business-planning tools than most that are currently
in use. There is however, one approach, which is more than capable
of meeting this need; a tried and tested process that has already
had dramatic results for companies like Smith & Nephew, Emerson,
Siemens and Microsoft. It is called Quality Function Deployment
(QFD), and it provides a structured and participative approach
for effectively harnessing the new levels of challenge and complexity
inherent in business planning today.
QFD is probably the best kept management
secret going! Originating in Japan, it is an extremely effective
tool for working out what you are trying to do and how you are
going to do it, and for exploring the opportunities in both.
It is powerful enough to transform a global business, simple
enough to be developed on a flipchart, and flexible enough to
design anything from a complete organisation to an isolated activity
And it is the combination of these qualities
that make it so effective in business planning. One tool, linking
top to bottom, strategy to decision, purpose to action, intent
to desire and mission to culture. It links them simply, visibly
and inexorably, across all levels of the organisation; guiding
and harnessing every effort. Yet, at every level, it provides
opportunities for new ideas and creativity, inspiration and commitment.
QFD enables any organisation, large or small,
to map out its objectives; to explore how each of its functions,
activities or business processes can leverage its attainment
of them; and to translate this into clear strategies. It is an
extremely powerful tool for this kind of work, and has enabled
a major research organisation to achieve 40% performance improvement
in one year, across all of its objectives, and a European-wide
assembly facility to make a three-fold improvement in its delivery
performance. It is the only tool that can reliably and objectively
drive the focus and creativity that businesses will need to excel
in the future.
The dramatic performance improvements quoted
above, impressive though they may be, are only part of the story.
The clear and methodical objectivity of the approach both enables
companies to target and deliver huge step-changes in performance,
and provides a sustainable basis for them to build on these for
the future. QFD does this because it drives improvement through
the management team, in a way that develops their identity, using
a process that they can replicate. It equips them to:
- identify and prioritise goals
that strategically focus the organisation on its opportunities
- align all their potential -
people, resources and facilities - behind achieving those goals
- minimise inefficiency and distraction
by objectively challenging activities that no longer fit their
- provide a framework to harness
the creative energies of their people in driving performance
- effectively monitor and manage
their progress, at all levels, to ensure success.
Quality Function Deployment
Surprisingly, QFD is not a new
tool; it was developed at the end of the 1960s in Japan. So the
question needs to be asked: If it is so successful, why aren't
more people using it? The answer lies in the cultural divide
between technical and business issues. For a large proportion
of the intervening years the tool has been the domain of highly
technical product design teams. It has transformed their performance,
but in doing so it has developed along ever more detailed and
complex lines, away from the simple pragmatic style that appeals
to management teams.
Clearly, if more managers are to benefit
from this approach, the literature should be made more accessible
to them. They need a more robust and less onerous version of
the approach, they need to be inspired with examples they can
relate to, and they need to be supported with tools they can
readily apply. In short, they need a pragmatic guide to implementing
QFD in their business.
That is the purpose of the book 'Managing
book has been consciously designed to provide you with everything
you need to effectively implement and employ 'Managing by Design'
within your own organisation. It contains clear guidance, techniques
and insight, ensuring that the ideas of design are effectively
and practically harnessed; they will deliver the business performance
transformation that you will need to compete effectively in the
new e-global economy.
By the end of the book, you will
know how to:
- establish the need for transformation
in your organisation, and commit to QFD as the means of bringing
- build a team around you, that
is determined to use QFD to deliver clear worthwhile goals and
to create a more effective organisation
- co-ordinate and lead the effective
implementation of QFD, and ensure that your resources are efficiently
focused on delivering the results
- work through the personal challenges
and opportunities that QFD provides and to develop a greater
- adapt and adjust your management
forums and routines to support and make full use of the effective
application of QFD
- ensure that QFD remains in tune
with the changing needs of your business environment, and continues
to provide an effective basis for harnessing the creativity and
industry of your people in transforming your performance.
In order to maximise its effectiveness
in preparing you to implement QFD, this book is written in three
- On the left-hand pages, the
book is written as a text, providing guidance, insight, challenge
and practical tips for putting QFD into practice in your organisation.
- On the right-hand pages, the
book is a novel, providing a continuous illustration of what
it may feel like to implement QFD, and how you might address
the issues that it raises.
- Through the Internet, this web-site
provides a portal to professionally developed practical tools,
materials and handouts, which you can adapt and apply to get
a flying start in implementing QFD.
In endeavouring to equip the
reader with all that they need to implement QFD in their own
organisation, we have adopted a number of principles.
- We promote the reading of the
book as discovery. 'Unlearning' poor practice is as important
to effective management as learning good practice. The journey
provides us with a device in which the reader can challenge conventional
wisdom, and adopt new ideas in the context of a deeper understanding
of what they are trying to do. For this reason, the main subject
of this book is not fully explained until Chapter 6, after the
early chapters of the book have taken a quite confrontational
look at traditional management.
- We equip the reader with everything
needed to successfully adopt a design approach to management.
We do not restrict ourselves to the basic mechanics of implementing
design thinking. Instead, we explain the personal and organisational
implications of a successful implementation and so establish
a firm and sustainable foundation for the approach.
- We use a wide, interesting (and
perhaps unexpected) variety of means to engage and support the
reader in their exploration of design thinking. Effective learning
requires a balance of approaches, and we each have different
preferences within that. We use story, explanation, exercises,
illustration, diagram, and unashamedly copious quantities of
other people's wisdom (quotes) to make and reinforce the key
- We create a 'journey' for the
reader: a clear flow in the information presented. By employing
a novel as the backbone of the book, we suggest a logical, chronological
sequence that will make sense to most managers. Readers who are
already expert users of the tools we present, may be dismayed
at how different aspects of the tools have been split up into
different sections of the book. It is important to realise however,
that the order in which we present the ideas is driven by a management
agenda, not a purist/technical one.
- We have created a path that
can be followed practically. Our goal has been to promote and
extend a design perspective on management, irrespective of the
specific tools used. To make this perspective useful and practical
we focus on one specific design tool: quality function deployment
(QFD). The reason for this is that it is the best design tool
currently available for exploring and defining complex systems
simply. QFD has already proven its practicality and benefits
- We have tried to minimise the
barriers to applying the learning from the book efficiently.
The ideas presented can be applied as a complete system or as
isolated practices - this journey really can begin with a single
step. Also, we provide a range of supporting materials that can
be downloaded without charge from the Internet and adapted to
your own particular needs.
To read other sections of the
book, click here
To buy the the book, click here
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Management Systems Ltd 2003
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Case studies of success: transforming organisational
performance through QFD
best systematic resources now available.
(tools and methodologies)
QFD: Making your vision reality
on systematic management