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Blending the Voices of Disparate Customers

August 27th, 2008 by James Grover


Percentage Translation

One way to blend the voices of the different customers mentioned above is through “percentage translation”. Percentage translation is fairly quick and easy to implement. It is probably the most accurate as well. All that is required is to multiply each set of customer requirements by the relative weight given to those customer groups by the executive business team.

In order to perform percentage translation on the requirements gathered from multiple customer groups, one would simply perform the following steps:

  1. Combine all of the requirements from the various consumers into one list
  2. Add any requirements that were explicitly listed by the business executive team to the list of requirements
  3. Add a column listing the source of the requirements
  4. Add a column that lists the weightings given to the customer sources by the executive business team
  5. Multiply the original relative weight value by the source weighting value and enter it as the “translated relative weight”. (Note: 100% should be used as the source weighting value for explicit business requirements when computing the translated relative weight.)

The following table lists the values that result from following the steps outlined above for the fictional Glasgow Gun Company:

Percentage Translation table for the fictional Glasgow Gun Company

Note that there are several requirements in the table above that are essentially the same (even though the text might be slightly different). These duplicate requirements are highlighted in the table below in colors that indicate the duplications:

Table containing customer requirements with translated relative weights

The final step in percentage translation is to combine all of these duplicates by summing their translated relative weights, which results in the following list of “critical to customer” requirements or CTCs:

Table containing consolidated customer requirements

The only drawback to percentage translation is that it requires a distinct spreadsheet or table that is maintained separately from one’s House of Quality (a.k.a. “QFD “) spreadsheets or software. Note that this does not have to be the case, however, if the spreadsheets or software allow the entry of rating values that are not 1’s, 3’s, and/or 9’s.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 at 9:00 pm and is filed under House of Quality, Advice, Voice of the Customer, Remodeling the HOQ™, Quality Function Deployment, QFD. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can also leave a response.

1 response about “Blending the Voices of Disparate Customers”

  1. Scot Duguay said:

    In reviewing the contents of the website, I was trying to find suggested methods/approach for collecting “Demanded Quality” (aka Customer Requirements). I suppose methods include: face-to-face customer visits or perhaps internet surveys. Is anyone able to elaborate on how they have been successful in collecting Customer Requirements from a)direct consumers, and b)from business customers- which can be later used to begin the QFD exercise?

    Thank you,

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