KANO Model
Offers some insight into the product attributes which are perceived to be important to customers. An excellent tool to support product specification and a useful discussion tool to generate team understanding. Focuses the attention on differentiating features. Can be powerful when the full methodology is followed, but useful none the less as a visualisation tool.

Developed in the 80's by Professor Noriaki Kano, the model is based on the concepts of customer quality and provides a simple ranking scheme which distinguishes between essential and differentiating attributes.

Dissatisfiers are customer requirements that must be met, because the customer expects them as a regular part of the package. These are basic requirements; if these desires aren't met, the customer will be dissatisfied. But even if these dissatisfiers are met, that doesn't mean the customer will be satisfied to any great degree. Companies must meet all desires that are dissatisfiers to stay in business. If the company is not meeting these desires, it needs to focus its improvement efforts on providing the dissatisfiers first.
Satisfiers are customer requirements that aren't necessarily expected as a regular part of the package, but the more satisfiers there are, the more the customer is satisfied. Customers can live without satisfiers, and they don't typically excite customers, but they help retain customers and keep them happy. Customers usually tell other people about a product's or service's satisfiers. Customers don't tend to notice the inclusion of satisfiers as much as they do the exclusion of dissatisfiers. Nevertheless, customers may compare a product's satisfiers to those of a competing product.
Delighters are not expected by the customer, so they don't cause dissatisfaction when they're not part of the package. Yet delighters excite customers because they exceed their expectations; that is, they're "breakthrough" features. Delighters are competitive differentiators, and offering them is a good way to win new customers. Delighters typically are not mentioned by the customer, because the customer wasn't expecting them in the first place. Nevertheless, when the delighter makes a big impression on a customer, the customer will tell others about it.
Method of Use
  • Categorizing Customer Requirements According to the Kano Model
  • Customer requirements are categorized as "dissatisfiers," "satisfiers," or "delighters." They are categorized according to how the team believes customers would categorize them. One year, a mint on a hotel room pillow might be a delighter, the next, a satisfier.

  • Determining How Well Your Organization is Meeting the Requirements in Each Category
  • Determining how well your organization is meeting customer requirements in each category requires an honest assessment. If surveys show that customers are unhappy with a car's brakes, the team shouldn't say the car maker is meeting all its "dissatisfiers."

  • Stating the Organization's Business Objective
  • A business objective is often a simple statement of what the organization hopes to achieve, such as, "increase productivity by 10 percent." The business objective will be weighed against the requirements categories to decide which category to focus on first.

  • Choosing the Category to Improve First
  • The team chooses the category it will improve first by weighing the categories against the business objective. If a company desires a reputation for reliability, the team may select its "dissatisfiers" if the firm's not already meeting all these requirements.

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