Construction collaboration : a QFD approach
The UK Construction industry is a wide ranging complex environment with constantly evolving cultural, technical and organisational dynamics. Collaboration systems are used within that environment to store information and aid construction professionals in dealing, manipulating and completing information vital to projects. There are many collaboration systems available to the construction market, but most are based on versions used in other less similar industries. As a result though the software packages available to work at a level acceptable to the major construction contractors, they are not fully satisfying the customers need. The quality of the software available currently could be improved. Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a Japanese product development tool developed in the 1960s. It is a quality system for strategic competitiveness; it maximises positive quality that adds value; it seeks out spoken and unspoken customer requirements, translates them into technical requirements, prioritises them and directs the process to optimise those features that will bring the greatest competitive advantage. QFD has been applied largely anonymously to software in the United States of America, and sparingly to construction within the UK. Blitz QFD is a form of QFD that focuses specifically on the essential quality items of the customer. This method could be implemented within the construction industry creating a fully auditable transfer of customer needs to essential software design features. Blitz QFD would be a valuable development methodology in a construction industry that demands faster, user focused project collaboration software where the user's needs are not currently being satisfied.