How to Use Kano Model for Requirement Assessment?

Kano Model is used to translate customer feedback into actions but how to do it exactly? Here you will learn how to use Kano Model survey from start to finish.

Traditional Survey Method

The most widely used method to capture customer's requirement is survey questionnaire. The reasons are that they can be done at scale.

Kano Model Chart 1

The above example illustrates common survey instrument. Linkert scale which consists of 5 or 7 points ranging from lowest degree to highest degree literally appear on almost every survey questionnaire. It's also used in conjunction with Rank Order Scaling which ask customer to rank each requirements so company can identify high priority requirements.

Here come the pain point. In many circumstances, customers say that almost every requirements are fall into "very import" or "important" categories. This situation indicates high survey bias which is very very common problem.

Another headache of customer's requirement survey is that, even though you know requirement by rank, do you know many requirements should be met without fail?

What is Kano Model?

Dr. Noriaki Kano indicates in the book named "Attractive Quality and Must-be Quality" that each requirement is not equally important to the eye of customers.

Kano Model Chart 2

Then, customer's requirement can be divided into 3 categories. "Must-Be" requirement is something basic, the absence of this requirement means customer is completely dissatisfied. "One-Dimensional" requirements help to increase the level of satisfaction. "Attractive" requirement is something "nice to have". There is really no problem without it but level of satisfaction will be maximized if this requirement is in place.

Yes, lots of textbooks and articles mentioned this time and time again. But it's very rare to see how to implement this concept. So next section will provide the complete picture of Kano Model.

How to Use Kano Model?

Kano Model is not only the conceptual model but also survey instrument. Here's how to use Kano Model:

  1. Gather customer's requirement
  2. Ask two questions for each customer's requirement
  3. Develop Kano Questionnaire
  4. Create Kano Evaluation Table

1. Gather the list of requirements you would like to test.

2. Ask two questions for each requirement to eliminate bias response and inconsistency.

2.1 The first question (positive question) is to determine how customer feels if the requirement can be met. 

2.2 The second question is to determine how customer feels if the requirement can't be met.

3. Put a Kano survey question in the table as below,

Kano Model Chart 3

3.1  Suppose customer says he feels that 3 weeks lead-time is a must (answer 2 in positive question) and he dislikes it if 3 weeks lead-time can't be met (answer 5 in negative question), this requirement will fall into "Must-be" requirement.

Kano Model Chart 4

3.2 As you can see, negative question in Kano questionnaire serves as consistency check. And combination of 2 questions for each requirement help to determine type of requirement.

4. Since you have to ask many customers, you will need to tally the results to determine how majority of customers express their requirements.

Kano Model Chart 5

Determine which requirement you should meet urgently. From the above table, requirement 1 is "Must-Be" requirement because it gets highest vote among customers.

Kano Model Case Study

Kano Model was originally developed for product design. Anyway, I've tested it in supply chain environment and found that this tool is actually pretty good.

The case study is supply chain improvement plan at animal feed distributor. They would like to know how they should improve operations in order to be more competitive in the market.

Kano Questionnaire was prepared according to 4 basic performance measurements (cost, quality, delivery, lead-time). About 10 key customers were selected and survey was carried out by phone through customer service department. The result was summarized as below,

Kano Model Chart 6

It's generally believed (in many industries) that product price is number one priority in the eyes of customer. Anyway, Kano model has debunked this myth. The survey result in this study indicated that "Quality" is actually requirement that must be met (Must-Be requirement). Poor quality will result in customer's dissatisfaction and eventually loss of business.

This fact took top management by surprise. Then, initiative related to quality control and supplier development in upstream farming area got the highest priority. The next step was to improve order fulfillment process because both on-time delivery and lead-time falls into "One Dimensional" requirement which is the next priority. Improvement initiative might include business process improvement and ERP implementation.

More Resources for Kano Analysis

The point of doing Kano Analysis is to prioritize areas of improvement which may require some knowledge outside your comfort zone. Then we have listed recommended books that you can use to create improvement that sticks!

Improve customer service - 7 Customer Service Books Top CEOs Actually Read

Improve quality - 10 Six Sigma Books That Changed the World

Improve overall operations - 10 Operations Management Books CEOs Read

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