The feasibility of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) as an assessment and quality assurance model
Business schools are globally often seen as structured, purpose-driven, multi-sector and multi-perspective organisations. This article is based on the response of a graduate school to an innovative industrial Quality Function Deployment-based model (QFD), which was to be adopted initially in a Master's degree programme for quality assurance purposes. The approach is based on the premise that individuals ought to take responsibility for the quality of their own work. A structured qualitative case study approach was used with the deployment of one-on-one and focus group interviews, document analysis, and observations. Convenient sampling assisted in reaching 27 respondents (five from the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, eight academics and university managers and 14 students and alumni), documents and facilities that had the most pertinent information on the research focus. A validation study was used to test the value of the research findings to business and the practice of quality assurance. The main findings of the study attest to the feasibility of QFD as an assessment and quality assurance tool in higher education, and as a compact and holistic model for quality assurance that subsumes the many fragmented models available. QFD appears to supersede most models, where it compounds the market, social and management dimensions in terms of quality. In addition, Six Sigma Road Mapping can be linked to QFD to balance the quality requirements in terms of planned quality, offered quality and expected quality.
Keywords: Customer Satisfaction Performance; Graduate School; Quality Function Deployment; Six Sigma Road Mapping; Six Sigma Roadmaps; Theory of Constraint; Voice of the Customer