Quality Function Deployment, QFD in Construction
Lakka Antti, Vainio Mikko & Laurikka Petri: Asiakaslähtöinen suunnittelu,
QFD rakentamisssa, Quality function deployment, QFD in Construction. VTT Research
Notes 1685. Espoo 1995. 54 p. + app. 9 p. [in Finnish].
The purpose of the QFD in Construction project was to apply the method of customer-oriented design proven in other industries, and to adapt it to the project management practice of Finnish construction. The method has been developed as a tool for controlling customer demands and product properties, and it has enabled the speeding up of the design process and made it more responsive to customer needs.
In construction, the method is applicable to purposes such as:
1. Building project
- setting of project objectives in project programming
- meeting of an unusual demand by customer which is not a routine procedure for the firm in special design
2. Development of a building company
- strategic planning
- product development
- performance development.
The following phases of the construction project were selected for testing:
1. Programming for an apartment block
2. Design of a restaurant of a large office complex. Click here
to see the main matrix as a figure (25576 bytes).
3. Structural design of an industrial building.
QFD is a tool of, especially, the project manager when applied to
construction projects. Its greatest advantage is that it provides the project
manager with a systematic method of compiling and analysing the customers needs.
The problem is, generally, that the customer himself does not know his needs.
Application of QFD forces the customer to focus on his future situation and the
The most critical phase of application is the definition of customer demands.
Various methods are available according to the needs. They include interviews,
teamwork, inquiries and various combinations of these. The filling in of the
matrix in itself is just a mechanical procedure required to organize the material.
QFD is not a substitute for expertise. It provides added value to the expert in
that it enables distinguishing the most critical customer demands and discovering
the corresponding properties. On the other hand, the matrix is a document that
shows the grounds for decisions later on.
This study did not aim at developing a property system to cover the entire
building. The experiences from the three application projects support the idea that
it is worthwhile limiting matrix size to less than 30 rows or columns when applying
A modern advanced spreadsheet program is best suited for controlling the QFD matrix
as it is, for instance, user-friendly and flexible. The QFD-Laatutalo application
was developed in connection with the project to facilitate the filling in and
control of the QFD matrix. It has been developed both Finnish and English versions.
The application was written in the macro language of Microsoft Excel 4.0.
The QFD-Laatutalo application can be used to process the QFD matrix and compute the
weights of various properties. In addition to applying it to the basic matrix, it
can be used to set a new target goal, to compare one property against another and
to prepare a new QFD matrix for the next phase. The application built on top of the
spreadsheet program proved to be an excellent tool for controlling the QFD matrix.
Updated 2.1.1996 by
Antti Lakka ,VTT