Have you ever had a project that seemed to be pulling you in all different directions? This is often the case when you are working on a highly demanding project or with numerous customers and you soon realize that trying to meet every demand is impossible. This is where the Kano Analysis tool can be extremely beneficial. This tools helps you to clearly identify customer requirements, and then organize and prioritize them. A Kano Analysis is a simple tool that is intuitive and easy to use, but don’t be fooled by its simplicity. The results of a well done Kano Analysis can prove to be invaluable when time is short and demand is high. Take a few minutes to view this quick tutorial on using a Kano Analysis and you will find that by prioritizing the requirements, you are able to more effectively meet the needs of your customers and make more efficient use of your time.

Video Transcript

0:00:10 to 0:00:56 – Introduction to the Prioritizing Customer Needs Using a Kano Analysis

Prioritizing customer requirements can be really challenging. Often what happens is customers don’t know what is most important to them, so what they then do is make everything a priority which can be challenging to manage. To overcome this, a tool that I like to use is a Kano Analysis which helps you prioritize customer requirements into 3 distinct categories which helps you understand what is most important to your customer. So let’s take a few minutes and learn about the Kano Analysis in a quick tutorial. Once complete, I’ll circle back with you and share a unique example where I worked with a change management and communications team to help prioritize their work utilizing a Kano Analysis.

0:00:57 to 0:05:15 – Kano Analysis Tutorial

Section 1

The Kano model was developed by Professor Noriaki Kano. This model identify that all needs are not of equal importance to customers. The Kano Analysis frames needs into:

  • Must Be’s
  • Primary Satisfiers
  • And Delighters

Kano’s theory is that for some customer needs, customer satisfaction is directly proportional to the extent to which the product or service is fully functional. The horizontal axis represents how fully functional a product or service is, whereas the vertical axis represents how satisfied a customer is. Think about the following travel needs, where would they fit on the Kano Analysis?

  • In-flight movie
  • Hot meal
  • On-time flight arrival
  • And safe landing

Section 2

The Must-Be curve indicate situations in which the customer is less satisfied when the product or service is less functional, but is not more satisfied when the product or service is more functional. For example, clients of a service bureau expect 99.9% system uptime. Their level of satisfaction does not improve when uptime is increased, but downtime leads to severe dissatisfaction. 

Section 3

Primary satisfiers are customer requirements where the level of customer satisfaction is proportional to the extent to which the product or service is fully functional. The horizontal axis of the diagram indicates how fully functional a product or service is. The vertical axis indicates how satisfied the customer is. The line going through the origin at 45 degrees represents the situation in which customer satisfaction is directly proportional to how fully functional the product or service is. For example, the faster the response time on a system or the more miles per gallon, the more customer likes it.  Kano terms such requirements as one-dimensional requirements – a 10% improvement in functionality results in a 10% improvement in customer satisfaction.

Section 4

The Delighters curve indicates the situation in which the customer is more satisfied when the product or service is more functional, but not less satisfied with the product or service is less functional. For example, having 15 options for fading on a camcorder would increase customer satisfaction for all buyers. But a lack of all 15 options would likely not lead to dissatisfaction for a majority of buyers.

Section 5

What happens if a customer is indifferent or reverse? A customer can be indifferent to the requirement of a product or service where it has no effect on satisfaction one way or another. For example, color or logo on the credit card. A customer can actually not like the requirement at all, where it actually causes dissatisfaction with a product or service. For example, issuing invoices early.

Section 6

Let’s look at the Kano Analysis definitions for the requirement types.

  • Must-Be’s are priority #1 – They are requirements that can dissatisfy, but cannot increase satisfaction.
  • Primary Satisfiers are priority #2 – The more of these requirements that are met, the more the customer is satisfied.
  • Delighters – If the requirement is absent, it does not cause dissatisfaction, but it will delight customers if present.
  • Indifferent – Customer is indifferent to whether the feature is present or not
  • Reverse – Feature actually causes dissatisfaction.

0:05:16 to 0:06:44 – An Example of a Using a Kano Analysis to Prioritize Work Activities

The Kano Analysis is one of my favorite tools to utilize when prioritizing customer requirements because it can be applied in so many different scenarios. As an example, I once worked with a change management and communications team and their responsibility was to support me as their customer and my team of Lean Six Sigma project managers. One of the challenges that this team faced in supporting so many project managers across the globe is that their list of priorities became quite large. To help overcome this, we sat down together and completed a Kano Analysis to prioritize their work. And what we did, and what we agreed upon, which was really important, was the list of Must-Be’s (what was most important for them to complete) then we identified a few Primary Satisfiers and maybe a couple of Delighters. This was an important exercise for this team because they now had clear direction on what was most important for them to work on. So my encouragement to you is to utilize the Kano Analysis because of its simplicity and ultimately you will better understand your customers and truly understanding what is most important to them.