Customer Centred Quality Function Deployment: A Framework for the Iterative Involvement of the Voice of the Customer and Derivation of Measurable Product Requirements in Innovation Design


In this paper, a new approach for the involvement of the voice of the customer in product innovation projects is discussed by using an example from automotive concept design. Today, a companies’ competitiveness is directly linked with its ability to innovate. At the same time, many product concepts fail in the market, as they do not satisfy customer requirements. Concurrently, the aim of this study is to design a process that monitors the customers’ needs throughout the product development process and allows to systematize those requirements into measurable development targets. A literature review deems the traditional development of specification sheets to be static and superficial. Specification sheets often display a generic customer request, however, fail to convey the subliminal customer needs. On the other hand, customer-centered methods (e.g., Design Thinking) allow a deep understanding of those needs but lack their translation into the tangible language of engineers. Therefore, the target of this paper is to close the gap between the two approaches leveraging an adapted and iterative version of the Quality Function Deployment methodology. For this purpose, a three-step study is conducted. Firstly, requirements for the process are collected with the help of experts from the fields of technology, business, and human values. Secondly, a new process model is developed in workshops with experts. In a third step this new process is evaluated through expert feedback. As a result, a new process is presented for identifying, weighting and quantification of future proof product requirements.


Ludwig Maul
Senior Innovation Coach, User Experience Design, Robert Bosch Power Tools GmbH, Germany

Dennis Dombrowski
Trainee, Sales, Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Bernd Hienz
Systems Engineer, Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design Management and Professional Practice


Customer Centred Design, Quality Function Deployment, Requirements Engineering, Product Innovation

Digital Media

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