Choosing a consultant or trainer is
non-trivial. Their advice and experience should make QFD fit easily into
your company, resulting in better products and at the same time
improving your product development process.
QFD is a highly adaptive method that inserts a
sequence of tools and methods into your product development process. The #1
wish of many practitioners is for an efficient process that gives the most
value for the effort they make.
To accomplish this, your QFD should be tailored to the
specific realities of your company, customers, competitors, technology, and
products. There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach that works for everyone. QFDI certified QFD
Master Black Belts® are specially trained to
custom tailor the
approach that best fits your company.
- Trained by
whom? Dr. Deming, the father of modern quality advised to "learn
from the masters." Mazur studied with Shigeru Mizuno and Yoji
Akao, the co-founders of QFD, as well as with their most senior disciples,
Tadashi Ohfuji, Terumichi Ono, Hisakazu Shindo, Noriharu Kaneko, Akashi
Fukuhara, and Satoshi Nakui. In 1998, Yoji Akao awarded Mazur the
and in 2000, certified him at the highest level of mastery, the QFD
Red Belt®. Certificates.
methods. Mazur studied TQM with Dr. Deming, Value
Engineering with Thomas Snodgrass who succeeded Larry Miles the founder of
VE, AHP with Tom Saaty its creator, Kansei Engineering with Mituo
Nagamachi its creator, Hoshin with Yoji Akao, Kaoru Shimoyamada, Kozo
Koura, and Hisashi Takasu - all thought leaders, SPC with Jack ReVelle
(chief statistician with Hughes Aircraft), TRIZ with Boris Zlotin and
Alla Zusman, and new product development with C. Merle Crawford.
Awards/certificates. Course Certificates.
Awards and Appreciations.
- # QFD
publications. Publications are one indicator of the amount of
research being conducted, as well as acceptance by conferences, journals,
and publishers. Mazur has published more than 70 papers,
monographs, books, and book chapters, including all editions of the
QFD Green Belt® and QFD Black Belt® training
and Case Studies.
Conferences presented at. Conference presentations are another
indicator of the depth of research and peer acceptance of one's work.
Mazur has made more than 120
public conference presentations and
courses, not counting in-house tailored courses.
Citations by other researchers is an indication of how well the
consultant's work is admired and referenced by other experts in the field.
A partial list of citations.
community involvement shows a commitment to continuous improvement
of the method. Mazur is volunteer Executive Director of the
QFD Institute and
International Council for QFD,
Conference Chair for North
American QFD Symposia, Member of Scientific boards for International
Symposia on QFD. Mazur is a Senior Member of the
American Society of Quality and the
Japanese Society for
- Years of QFD experience?
Since 1985, Mazur trained, taught, and consulted
over 100 times beside every Japanese QFD guru, including Professors Shigeru
Mizuno and Yoji Akao (co-founders), Tadashi Ohfuji, Terumichi Ono, Hisakazu Shindo,
Noriharu Kaneko, Akashi Fukuhara, and Satoshi Nakui. Further, he and his staff have
translated every major book, case study,
and article on QFD written in Japanese. Enjoy my
QFD Photo gallery, including karaoke with Dr. Akao!
- # Industries worked in.
A common reason for implementing Quality Function Deployment is to develop the next generation
product or some disruptive technological advance. Be careful with consultants within your industry as they may be part of the old system you
are trying to challenge, and may not be able to get you to think outside the
"box." Mazur has consulted over 135 companies in 12
industry sectors. Client List.
Technical experience. Most projects involve some degree of
technical experience, if not in that industry, at least some general
technical competence. Mazur grew up in the automotive parts
industry and began disassembling and rebuilding engines and electrical
parts as early as 10 years old. He also taught at the
University of Michigan College of
Engineering from 1993-2003.
Marketing experience. Quality Function Deployment is commonly used to interface marketing
and technical operations, so a consultant/facilitator must be comfortable
with both sides. Mazur spent 7 years in business-to-business sales,
and earned in MBA at the University of
Michigan with a major in marketing, concentrating in new product
Adult teaching experience. We have all had the unfortunate
experience of smart but boring professors. Teaching professional adults
requires superior communication skills above and beyond the subject matter
expertise. Mazur taught in Japan for over three years and at the
University of Michigan College of Engineering for ten years. He has been
lecturing on Quality Function Deployment since 1990.
Courses taught. Course photos.
Translating Experience. We sometimes joke that customers seem to
be speaking a different language than engineers. There is some truth to
this. Foreign language translation experience provides a sound basis for
appreciating the nuances of words, the impact of situations, and the
value of body language in understanding unspoken customer needs, wishes,
and wants; and then translating them into the technical language of the
business. Mazur studied four years of French, and earned his BA in
Japanese and linguistics at the University of Michigan. He has worked as a
Japanese translator and interpreter since 1982, concentrating in Quality Function Deployment
and related quality methods.
- Train the
trainer. Teaching others to teach is a critical part of installing
a QFD system into a company that wants internal capabilities and a
sustainable effort. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a
man to fish and you feed him for life" is indeed true. It is not enough to
have the consultant do the work for you. You need to understand what
is being done, and you must be able to sustain the effort over time. Your
customers deserve that. In 2000, Yoji Akao, one of the
cofounders of Quality Function Deployment, authorized Mazur to develop advanced, up-to-date
training programs for both practitioners and experts. The
QFD Black Belt®
program includes a train-the-trainer component for this purpose.
Variety of courses and
durations. In these days of "right sizing," marketing and
technical staff are stressed to limit and look suspiciously at any new
initiative. Top management support is essential. Mazur offers a
variety of courses that build on each
other, are custom tailored to your organization, and can be implemented at
a pace and a degree that makes sense.
Frequency of courses. In-house training is arranged in short
modules and can be scheduled at the convenience of the client. Public
QFD Green Belt®
and QFD Black Belt®
courses are offered through the
QFD Institute which
maintains a schedule of these events.
Response time to questions. The learning curve for any methodology
can be steep. This is compounded in QFD because we are focusing on your
new products, the future revenue stream of your company. Failure and delay
are not options. Thus, rapid response technical support is a must.
Mazur offers several layers of
technical support, both free and for fee. Pre-paid support
response times are typically the same day or within one business day, and
are conducted primarily by email, telephone, or fax. On-site support can
be arranged. Non-Disclosure Agreements are encouraged.
Keeping up with current best practice is a full time job. As Executive
Director of the QFD Institute and the
International Council for QFD, Mazur
is involved with every QFD and related conference in the world. As a
member of the Scientific Boards, he uses this opportunity to review new
QFD research and practice around the world.
Geographic location. Mazur is located in Ann Arbor
Michigan, near Northwest Airline's Detroit hub, making for one flight to
most US cities and no more than two flights to anywhere in the world.
to QFD. 100% of Mazur's time is spent in QFD, whether in
companies, universities, conferences, researching, or writing.
- Avoid consultants who equate QFD to the House of Quality. Yoji
Akao has repeatedly warned that the House of Quality matrix is not
Quality Function Deployment; it is only one instance of one tool used sometimes.
Rather, QFD is an
analysis that must traverse the company end-to-end for the customer to see
any benefit. The House of Quality is only one junction - a transformation
from customer needs to functional requirements. It is usually preceded and
followed by additional tools and analyses.
- Avoid consultants who refer to 4-Phase, 4-Matrix, or 4-House
QFD. This model was extracted in 1983 from a reliability study done on a
copy machine component causing a paper feed problem. It is applicable
to projects solving known problems in existing components being built to
print. It is less suitable for new products, system or end product design,
or non-assembled products, such as food, chemicals, services, or software. It is
widely disseminated by those with limited QFD skills because it is easy to
explain and simplistic in appearance, which is also its principal limitation. Early
proponents of this model commonly referred to it as "Kindergarten QFD."
A related error is to name matrix axis labels as "what" and "how."
There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach that works for everyone,
so Quality Function Deployment must be tailored to
the specific realities of your company, customers, competitors, technology,
and products. QFD
Institute certified QFD
Master Black Belts® are specially trained to
custom tailor the process
to best fit your company.
- Avoid consultants who have the team throw
away customer verbatims and only present a partial set for customers to
sort. Verbatims must be translated into customer needs and only
customers can determine what is or is not important.
- Avoid consultants who use ordinal scale math in their
equations. Ordinal scales include customer and competitor ratings using
1-5, 1-10, or 100 point scales, relationship values using 1, 3, 9 or 1, 2, 4, etc.
Equations based on ordinal scales yield meaningless results.
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