Organisational QFD (Quality Function Deployment)

At the heart of the big picture,
at the heart of this website, and indeed at the heart of effective systematic management, lies an extraordinary tool. The tool is called Organisational QFD (Quality Function Deployment) and this site contains a wealth of material to help you understand and apply this tool for yourselves.

To understand more, please go to the QFD section of this site (which includes a simple animated step-by-step explanation of the tool), read Chapter 6 of Managing by Design, look at the paper 'The Designer Organisation', or click on the various sections of the image above.

The website also contains a two additional resources to support the development of QFD through a QFD Workshop approach: Introductory slides (699 KB), and a workshop session plan (159 KB). These are included in the Resources section of the site, under 'Materials to Support Planning'.

The sections of the QFD reflected in the diagram above are:

The Objectives (red boxes) - a series of simple statements which draw together all that is important for you to achieve in your organisation. It is a powerful and succinct summary of your vision, values, role and relationships - as a compelling set of short phrases which collectively reflect success as your organisation sees it. Further insight on how this is developed can be obtained by reading Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of How to Build a Better Business, Chapter 7 of Managing by Design, or clicking here for further explanation of the images in the are to the left of the QFD in the big picture.

The Measures (orange boxes) - clearly defined dimensions against which progress can be measured. Measures are something with which most organisations struggle, but they are essential to systematic management, and (during the early years) are THE major factor in performance improvement. For further insight on how measures and targets can be developed, please click here.

The Targets (blue boxes) - explicit values for each of the measures which clearly define the threshold of success for that particular objective. Target setting is an excellent means for both resolving assumprtions (and misunderstandings) in the objectives, and for ensuring that the proposed measures (metrics) and clearly defined. It is the gap between targets and current performance which systematic management uses to focus and drive methodical improvement. For further insight on how measures and targets can be developed, please click here.

The Processes (purple boxes) - these reflect the logical elements of the organisation's structure. Carefully (and creatively) selected processes can provide new insight and opportunities for efficiently delivering the objectives, they can isolate and break down organisational barriers and areas of friction and innefficiency, and they can provide a powerful focus for innovation, improvement and management responsibility. More can be read on the process section of QFD in Chapter 3 of How to Build a Better Business,and Chapter 8 of Managing by Design.

The Roof (yellow boxes) - this is a map of the optimum communication between processes. All too often in organisations, communication is a major issue, either because key bits of it are missing or late, or because it takes up too much time (or fairly frequently both). The roof provides a means for the management team to quickly and effectively agree the optimum communication to achieve their objectives, and to put in place simple plans to make it happen. A guide to using the roof can be found in Chapter 7 of How to Build a Better Business,and in Chapter 23 of Managing by Design.

The Grid (white boxes) - this is the heart of the organisational QFD; an opportunity for the organisation to fully understand its potential and creatively pursue its objectives in a sustainable way through developing its processes. The grid discussion enables the management team to understand the whole scope of what the organisation has to do, to appreciate each other's roles in that, to take individual and collective ownership for what will make the most difference, and to creatively focus their resources on making it happen. Furthermore, the grid is the key tool of deployment, building commitment at lower levels of the organisation, and agility through a equipping people in the firing line with a clear understanding of opportunities and implications. Further insight on the grid can be obtained by reading Chapter 4 of How to Build a Better Business, and Chapter 9 of Managing by Design.

The Priority Improvement Areas (green boxes) - these help to clarify which processes provide the greatest leverage over the objectives, and thereby to guide allocation of resources and selection of people. Appendix 5 of Managing by Design. explains the actual method by which this is done. Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 of How to Build a Better Business provides some guidance on how the creativity and commitment of your people can be engaged with these priority areas.

Pages 128-136 of Managing by Design can be found in Chapter 9, which can be read as a pdf file (165 KB) by clicking the link above.

Chapter 4 of How To Build A Better Business can be read as a pdf file by clicking the link.

Blank templates of this panel can be found in the Big Picture Storyboard file - these can be used to capture your own experiences and progress in this area (by annotating them either in PowerPoint, or as a printed panel), and then to physically cut and paste them onto the Big Picture to create your own storyboard of implementing systematic management in your organisation.

To explore another secion of the big picture, please click on the relevant area of the image below:

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