RUIZ J.;"12 Fresh Views on TQM"; European Foundation for Quality
Management (EFQM), 1995-96. Doctoral Thesis Award.
QUALITY MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION 1
3. QUALITY AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION
Technological innovation. Concepts of Technology, Science, Innovation and
R&D. Patterns of Technological Change. Classification and evolution of
technology in R&D. Quality Management: A historical review. Quality in
R&D activities. Profile of technological research centres in the Basque Country
as business organizations.
4. QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN RESEARCH CENTRES
Some quality-related experiences in R&D centres. Bibliographic review.
Description of experiences of Quality Management in research centres. Quality
in R&D: The opinion of experts. Quality Survey in R&D centres: Procedure,
statistical analysis and results.
5. QUALITY FUNCTION DEPLOYMENT (QFD)
Historical review. General description of the method. A New Customer-
Centered Culture. Design and development process and Concurrent
Engineering. Introduction to QFD. Phases in the use of QFD. Schools of
QFD. Different approaches to QFD. American Supplier Institute and
GOAL/QPC schools (Fukuhara and Akao approaches to QFD). A new
synthesis of QFD methodology. Quality Deployment. Technology
Deployment. Reliability Deployment. Cost Deployment. ISO 9000 Deployment.
QFD in the service process. Forgotten Effects Theory and QFD. Summary of
the use of QFD in Japan and USA.
6. OTHER QUALITY TECHNIQUES IN R&D
Quality in Design and Development of new products. Scheduling and
objectives of the design process. Assessment, inspection and validation of
design. Design of Experiments and Taguchi Methods. Global Modelling.
QUALITY MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION 2
Reliability Techniques. Concepts of Reliability. Patterns of Failure. Reliability
in the life cycle. Reliability Prediction. Reliability Engineering methods. Value
Analysis. Concepts in Value Analysis. Functional Analysis. Workplan in the
Value Analysis process. Quality Management and Planning Tools. Affinity
Diagram. Interrelationship Digraph. Tree Diagram. Matrix Diagram.
Prioritization Matrices. Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC). Activity
Network Diagram.Policy Deployment. Introduction to Policy Deployment.
Activities during Policy Deployment. Phases of Policy Deployment. Tools in
Policy Deployment. Comparative analysis of quality tools in R&D activities.
7. PATTERNS OF QUALITY IN TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT
Quality Management Standards in R&D activities. Main items for Quality
in Technology Management. R&D Projects. R&D Portfolio: Planning and
Control. Strategic Management of Technology. New QFD applications to
improve Quality in Strategic Technology Management. Milestones to
progress in the European Total Quality Model (EFQM) in R&D Centres.
Total Quality Management in tecnological centres in the Basque Country.
_ _ _ _ _
This study looks at the problem of quality in technological innovation. It includes
reflections on the improvement and assurance of quality in R&D activities, aiming
towards total quality management in them when they are performed in support of
other processes and when they are in themselves the core of a business (research
centres working under contract). After a description of the background and state of
the art of the concepts of "Technological Innovation" and "Quality Management" and a
look at the relationship between the two, the study considers outstanding experiences
of quality management programmes carried out in R&D teams. Bibliographic
information is set against interviews with experts and surveys sent to 477 R&D
QUALITY MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION 3
centres in 29 countries. This has enabled us to learn what main approaches and
methods are adopted by research groups to improve R&D operations. After an
analysis of empirical data the most relevant quality techniques which might potentially
be applied to R&D activities have been reviewed with a view to progress in the EFQM
(European quality management model). Special emphasis has been put on Quality
Function Deployment (QFD), a method for which new matrices are proposed, along
with a preferential path for its application. Comparative analysis of the quality tools
studied enables them to be located within quality improvement processes and allows
the conditions for their application to R&D activities to be clarified. The study ends
with a proposal of basic guidelines to reinforce continuous improvement and progress
towards the EFQM. Clearly differentiated stages are proposed, as is the use of QFD
matrices aimed at improving R&D portfolio management from a strategic technology
The application of quality management concepts and methods to R&D activities is still
in its infancy, though it is awakening growing interest, especially at R&D centres
belonging to industrial groups. R&D failures are frequent, and although this may seem
an inherent risk in research when trial and error is accepted as one of the main
axioms of such activities, several studies have indicated that many of these failures
could be avoided if there were more control over R&D activities. The core of this
thesis can be summed up as follows:
If an adequate quality management model exists in the R&D group/centre, if that
model is operative during the selection, planning and development of R&D work, and
if suitable total quality management methods and tools are used, then the probability
of efficient management of technology and the successful conclusion of each scheme
(in terms of usability, meeting of deadlines and cost) will be greater.
This investigation is theoretical and empirical in nature, being based on actual
observations at various stages of work. During its development attempts were made
to identify those elements which might lead R&D teams & centres to progress along
the lines of the EFQM. Figure 1 represents this model, indicating the parts of the
study which develop or apply the said elements.
3. QUALITY AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION
The main body of this thesis begins with chapter 3, including a description of the
background and state-of-the-art of the concepts on which this work is centered:
quality and technological innovation. Besides their etymological and historical
meanings, the relationship between them is explored. Section 3.1 discusses the
meaning of the terms: "technology", "science", "innovation" and "research and
development (R&D)". A large bibliographic discussion is included. The next section
deals with an analogous study through the more restricted scope of quality
management. After an analysis of its definitions and interpretations, there is a
historical overview of the countries which have contributed to the origin of the so
called quality revolution of the century: Japan, USA and Europe. In the same way, the
ideas of the most significant authors in the field of the development of the quality
management concept are presented and discussed.
We synthesize these last two concepts by looking at the interconnection of
significance and keys of quality in R&D activities. This can be considered as an
introduction to the main body of this work, which will be thoroughly developed in the
following chapters. The key role played by leadership and technological innovation
applied to the fast development of new products in the current international
competitive scenario is justified here. In this context, in which the processes of
innovation have undergone a deep transformation and acceleration, adequate R&D
management is fundamental within present organizations, especially industrial ones.
And this is why this study has been carried out: failures or costs due to lack of quality
in R&D. The section ends with an overview of the responses by research centres in
different countries to the management of quality in R&D activities.
Since the intention is to apply the conclusions of this study to the technological
centres of the Basque Autonomous Community, Chapter 3 includes a list of these
centres. After introducing some of the main milestones in their origin and present
configuration, some data about these centres is presented to give an idea of their
4. QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN RESEARCH CENTRES
Chapter 4 begins with a description of the most notable experiences of quality
management programs at R&D
centres. A short bibliographic
description of the sources used is
given in the beginning of the text, so
as to classify and structure the
different approaches adopted by
these centres. In the description of
the experiences published or
observed in the R&D centres, an
effort has been made to structure
information so that it is easy to find.
A summary of the opinion of several experts about the meaning of quality in R&D
activities is presented in the next section. Such interviews were one of the first steps,
together with the bibliographic review, towards identifying the main problems and
aspects of quality in R&D faced by technological research and development groups.
The interviews also helped to review, debug and optimize a questionnaire about
"Quality in R&D" sent by mail to 477 Technological Research and Development
Centres in 29 countries (see Figure 2). How this survey was done and the results and
conclusions obtained from it, have been discussed. In the appendixes included at the
end of the chapter there is a list of the centres to which the questionnaire was sent
and the centres which answered it, as well as several tables and charts showing the
statistical results worked out from the survey.
5. QUALITY FUNCTION DEPLOYMENT (QFD)
Chapter 5 starts with a description of several quality methods which must be
considered when improving quality in R&D environments. At the beginning there is an
indepth study of quality function deployment, QFD, which lies at the centre of the
Japanese response to quality problems in design and R&D during the 60's. Some
historical background to the method and a general description are presented and
compared with other quality techniques used in the process of the development of
It is worth mentioning a discussion about a "Customer-centered Culture Model", which
is an interesting reference framework for understanding the significance of QFD.
Figure 3 shows such a model. Here innovation is seen as a necessary prolongation of
quality. Or quality must be reviewed from the standpoint of innovation, and enter into
that environment when the needs and wishes of customers are looked at, to identify
new ways of achieving the results which the customer is seeking in a more complete,
more efficient or less costly manner.
Before an indepth review of quality function deployment, we present the main schools
and authors which have developed and applied this method. This is done by
analyzing the contributions of the main sources which have disseminated QFD in the
United States: the American Supplier Institute (ASI) and the Quality and Productivity
Centre (GOAL/QPC). The study tries to link their formulations to the Japanese
authors considered as two of the parents of the method: Fukuhara and Akao. This
search through the different sources is what allows us to attempt a reformulation of
the method - for which there is as yet little bibliography - which makes it easier to
understand, while keeping its original intuitions and characteristic features. Akao's
four deployment scheme has been adopted: quality, technology, reliability and cost
deployment. As a new feature, we propose a further deployment which we call ISO
9000, which facilitates the design of customer oriented quality systems, taking
advantage of QFD. After that, we describe the way QFD is being applied to the
design of service activities, which presents some differentiating features in
comparison with the design of products. To end the reformulation of the method, an
investigation of "forgotten effects" is proposed, which would increase the reliability of
the method when applied to complex problems.
The final section of the chapter presents an assessment of the application of the
method based on the available studies. The first of them is based on a survey carried
out in 1986 by the QFD Research Committee of the Japan Society for Quality Control
JSQC), chaired by Akao. The companies that took part in the survey belonged to the
Japan Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE). The second reference study, whose
nature is more qualitative, was published in 1991 by Abbie Griffin, lecturer in
Marketing and Production Management at the University of Chicago Graduate School
of Business. It deals with 35 QFD projects carried out by nine American companies.
The point is to identify the common elements and divergences between both studies,
so as to facilitate a more realistic approach to QFD methodology.
6. OTHER QUALITY TECHNIQUES IN R&D
Chapter 6 continues with a descriptive analysis of some other methods and
techniques which must be borne in mind if one wants to manage quality efficiently in
R&D projects nowadays. The techniques described were selected on the basis of two
criteria: firstly the interest or relevance of the technique in the design and
development of new products. This circumstance would require a thorough study of
the technique to be applied to R&D activities. In this respect, it is worth mentioning
techniques such as the Design of Experiments and methods of Robust Design,
Reliability Techniques and Value Analysis. Secondly, bearing in mind the leadership
and experience of Japan in the development of quality improvement methods, it
seems necessary to consider some new planning tools and methods. They are now
introducing new factors and dimensions to quality management in organizations
involved in manufacture, design, research and services. These tools and methods
include: New Quality Management and Planning Tools, and Policy Deployment.
So, the significance of quality is reviewed throughout the process of design and
development of new products, as this is the main reference point in any R&D activity.
This review is carried out from two points of view: design and objectives planning, and
design evaluation and verification; always of course keeping an eye on the minimum
design control requirements established by the industrial community as represented
by Standard ISO 9001.
After that, we include an overview of Experimental Design techniques and the
methods used to obtain designs insensitive to "noise" factors, to which Genichi
Taguchi has given a significant boost, although his contributions are not without their
critics. A description is given of the reliability techniques which, starting from basic
concepts, tries to analyze the role played by these techniques in the design and
development of products. Value Analysis, strongly settled in many design
departments of western companies, is reviewed.
The next section is devoted to the description of the so called New Quality
Management and Planning Tools, as opposed to the Quality Control Basic Tools, the
mastery and intensive use of which by Japanese bosses and operators is associated
with the excellent results of quality of conformance in their products. The new, more
conceptual and qualitative tools, were formulated as a coherent whole in Japan in the
early 80's as a consequence of the increasing complexity and abstraction of work
processes. They were also intended for use by management teams to solve planning
and management problems. Among the techniques studied, the last one is concerned
with strategic planning rather than design processes. Policy Deployment, a planning
system which tries to lead the whole organization coherently towards a few
objectives, previously identified as strategic, is also studied. However, it still is not
widely disseminated in western countries.
This chapter ends with a short analysis comparing the techniques studied above, in
an attempt to evaluate their relevance to quality in R&D activities.
7. PATTERNS OF QUALITY IN TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT
Chapter 7 brings this study to an end and summarizes some notes that, together with
the data and methods studied in the preceding chapters, allow milestones to progress
in the European Model for Total Quality Management (EFQM) in technological
research centres to be sketched out.
It begins with a study of quality assurance and management standards for R&D
activities. Specifically the applicability of the Standard ISO 9001 is analyzed, as well
as the guide prepared by the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC) to adapt
the requirements of that Standard to architectural and engineering organizations. The
Quality Assurance Guidelines for Research and Development worked out by the
Energy and Environmental Quality Division of the ASQC are also analyzed; and the
first draft version of Standard ANSI Z1.13, which includes quality system guidelines
for basic research activities is reviewed. The objective of a comparative analysis of
these documents is to find common points representing a sort of agreement when
considering quality systems in research centres.
In the following sections some proposals for the application of quality methods are
formulated, emphasizing Quality Function Deployment (QFD) in R&D activities, in
relation to context conditions (technology and market evaluation, selection and
management), as well as the internal aspects of each R&D project (objectives and
input data requirements control, project management, use of other techniques,...). As
a new feature a further deployment called ISO 9000 is proposed to facilitate the
design of customer oriented quality systems using the QFD method (see Figure 5). At
the end of the chapter, there are some suggestions concerning the design of quality
systems in the technologycal centres of the Basque Country.
A large part of the many failures in R&D operations could be avoided if there were
more control over them. This is a powerful reason for paying attention to the
development of technology and quality management for R&D. The implementation of
the EFQM (European total quality management model) in R&D groups may be
considered as one of the main strategies for improving the effectiveness of such
operations, whose importance is ever greater for innovation in today's businesses.
Comparison of the three research methods used (bibliographical study, expert
interviews & questionnaires with statistical analysis), significant coincidence has been
found in regard to the dominant quality approach in European R&D centres. The
adoption of quality management and assurance systems in line with the requirements
of ISO 9000 has been shown to be a priority. The number of surveys on US centres
used is smaller, which prevents conclusions from being drawn, but bibliographical
information reveals that there are advanced experiences of the application of the
principles, methods and techniques of TQM (total quality management) in R&D
environments. This implies the prior assimilation of less formalized quality assurance
systems adapted to R&D processes.
QFD (Quality Function Deployment) is a method developed in Japan, where it has
been applied since the 1970s to deal with the difficulties which firms have in
transferring quality concepts to R&D, marketing and design phases. This method was
not disseminated in the West until the mid 80s, but it has proved highly useful in two
critical aspects of business management: the creation and consolidation of a
customer-centred culture and the process of designing and developing new products.
A reformulation of the method is proposed here which involves on the one hand
recovering the original deployments of Akao for quality, reliability, technology and cost
and on the other a preferential matrix path inspired by the simple, direct character of
Fukuhara, using the inventory of matrices drawn up by King. Three new matrices are
proposed, constituting what could be known as ISO 9000 deployment. This can be
used to design quality systems in accordance with this standard based on customer
requirements and aimed at improving critical processes.
A descriptive analysis has been made of other methods and techniques which must
be taken into account at present if R&D project quality is to be managed efficiently.
These include Experimental Design, Reliability Techniques and Value Analysis. The
study also includes new techniques for quality management and planning and Policy
Deployment. Their advantages and the conditions for their application have been
analyzed in the context of the EFQM.
The concept of "strategic management of technology or management or technological
resources of business" is of vital importance. This comprises a process of integration
of technology into company strategies. Among the tools and instruments for ad hoc
analysis which can be used to apply and execute the different stages of the process
of strategic management of technology, eight new QFD matrices are proposed, along
with some reference landmarks for progress in the EFQM Model.
231 bibliographical references are cited and consulted, using the quote-note method
to facilitate the search for and deeper consultation of the information which is of most
interest to each reader. In this way the work will serve as a basis for future research.