Returning to the quality tools theme, QFD (Quality Function Deployment) is a technique and tool developed in Japan that is, in my opinion, much under-utilised in the West.  Continue reading


I Know a Man Who Can

A short while ago warning lights sprang up on my car’s dash, just an hour into a ten-hour journey.    The engine was still running fine, as far as I could tell, but I didn’t fancy ignoring the warning as that situation could easily change.  So I called the manufacturer’s support line and was put through to the AA (the UK’s Automobile Association, that is)! Continue reading

Seven Deadly Sins

Well, not so much sins as diseases – the seven deadly diseases described by W. Edwards Deming.  In these, he tried to explain why things go wrong and, to me, appreciating this is fundamental to any attempts at improvement.  I’ve already said I’m not a great fan of published programmes – they may have been successful elsewhere but, unless you understand the problems where you are, you can end up slavishly following steps that just don’t address the real need.  Understand the situation you are in and them decide what needs to be done. Continue reading

ServQual Gap 5

We now come to the gap that most people familiar with ServQual think of – the measure of customer satisfaction (and the main reason for applying the model).  This gap considers the difference between the customer’s expectation and his (or her) perception of the actual service received. Putting it simply, if the customer thinks the service was as good as expected, he will be satisfied; if not, he’ll not. Continue reading