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.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.