Kano Model: Introduction and Application
Developed by Hai Hu-s212360.
Kano Model (KANO model) is a useful tool for classifying and prioritizing user needs developed by a professor of the Tokyo University of Science named Noriaki Kano in the 1980s. In the product development and optimization process, the development team need to decide which customer needs should be solved first and how to create new functions for customers. Based on the analysis of the impact of user needs on user satisfaction, it reflects the nonlinear relationship between product performance and user satisfaction. By analyzing the user's satisfaction with product functions, the product functions are graded to determine the priority in the product implementation process. In the Kano model, the quality characteristics of products and services are divided into five types: (1) Must-be Quality/ Basic Quality; (2) One-dimensional Quality/ Performance Quality; (3) Attractive Quality/ Excitement Quality; (4) Indifferent Quality/Neutral Quality: (5) Reverse Quality(see Figure 1). The first three needs are classified according to performance indicators: basic factors, performance factors and incentive factors.
The Kano Model is a typical qualitative analysis model, which is generally not directly used to measure user satisfaction but is often used to identify users' acceptance of new functions. It can effectively reduce the disagreements about customer needs between the project manager and developers. The Kano Model analysis method is mainly to conduct research through standardized questionnaires, classify the attributes of each factor according to the survey results, and solve the positioning problem of product attributes to improve customer satisfaction.
Inspired by a behavioural scientist Herzberg's Two-Factor theory（1959）, Tokyo Institute of Technology professor Noriaki Kano and his colleague Fumio Takahashi published Motivator and Hygiene in Quality in October 1979. It was the first time the satisfaction and dissatisfaction standards were introduced into the field of quality management, and the research report "Attractive Quality and Must-be Quality" was read out at the 12th annual meeting of the Japan Quality Management Conference in 1982. The paper was officially published on January 18, 1984, in the Japanese Society for Quality Management (JSQC) magazine "Quality", No. 14, marking the establishment of the Kano model and the maturity of the attractive quality theory. In this paper, Noriaki Kano first proposed a two-dimensional model of satisfaction and constructed the KANO model. In Japan at the time, the issue of improving products and corporate services had always been a difficult problem. The model he proposed effectively solves this problem.
Customer preferences categories
By analyzing the user's satisfaction with product functions, the product functions are graded to determine the priority in the product implementation process. In the Kano model, the quality characteristics of products and services are divided into five types: (1) Must-be Quality/ Basic Quality; (2) One-dimensional Quality/ Performance Quality; (3) Attractive Quality/ Excitement Quality; (4) Indifferent Quality/Neutral Quality: (5) Reverse Quality(see Figure 1).
Must-be Quality/ Basic Quality
It is also known as the necessary demand and the natural demand, which is the basic requirement of the customer for the product or service factor provided by the enterprise. An attribute or function that a customer considers a "must-have" product. When its characteristics are insufficient (not meeting customer needs), customers are very dissatisfied; when its characteristics are sufficient (satisfying customer needs), customers may not be satisfied. For basic needs, even if it exceeds the customer's expectations, the customer is satisfied at best and will not show more favourable feelings about it. However, as long as there is a little negligence and the customer's expectations are not met, customer satisfaction will plummet. For customers, these needs must be met, as a matter of course. For this type of demand, the company's approach should be to focus on not losing points in this regard. It requires the company to continuously investigate and understand customer needs, and reflect these requirements in products through appropriate methods.
For example, a smartphone with no signal, poor call quality, incompatible operating system, infected with a virus, no power after 10 minutes of standby time, and if the phone runs so slow that it's close to crashing, all of these will increase user dissatisfaction, but the above After these needs are met, it will not bring about an increase in user satisfaction, because users think that these are necessary.
One-dimensional Quality/ Performance Quality
Also known as willingness needs. It refers to the demand in which the satisfaction of the customer is proportional to the degree of satisfaction of the demand. If such demand is met or performed well, customer satisfaction will increase significantly. The more products and services provided by the company exceed customer expectations, the more satisfied customers are. The better the situation. When such needs are not met or perform poorly, customer dissatisfaction also increases significantly.
Still using mobile phones for example， if the customers can get phones with better cameras at the same price, the customers are more likely to be satisfied with the products.
Attractive Quality/ Excitement Quality
Refers to needs that will not be overly expected by customers. For attractive needs, with the increase in the degree of meeting customer expectations, customer satisfaction will rise sharply, but once satisfied, even if the performance is not perfect, the customer's satisfaction status is very high. Conversely, even when expectations are not met, customers do not show significant dissatisfaction. When customers do not express a clear demand for some products or services, the company provides customers with some completely unexpected product attributes or service behaviours to surprise customers, and customers will show great satisfaction, thereby increasing customer loyalty. . This kind of demand often represents the potential demand of customers, and the practice of enterprises is to find such demand and lead the opponent. For example, some well-known brand enterprises can regularly conduct product quality tracking and return visits, release the latest product information and promotional content, and provide customers with the most convenient shopping method. In this regard, even if other companies do not provide these services, customers will not show dissatisfaction.
Before the first generation of the iPhone was released by Steve Jobs, most people used Nokia mobile phones which could just make calls, send messages or take pictures. But when the iPhone came up, people first realized that a mobile phone should be like this. For that era, the iPhone means everything is possible.
Indifferent Quality/Neutral Quality
Whether it is provided or not, it has no impact on the user experience. are aspects of quality that are neither good nor bad, they do not lead to customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
Also known as reverse demand, it refers to quality characteristics that cause strong dissatisfaction and quality characteristics that lead to low levels of satisfaction, because not all consumers have similar preferences. Many users do not have this demand at all, and user satisfaction will decline after the provision, and the degree of provision is inversely proportional to the degree of user satisfaction. For example, some customers prefer high-tech products while others prefer ordinary products, too many extra features can cause customer dissatisfaction.
For example, some customers prefer high-tech products while others prefer ordinary products, too many extra features can cause customer dissatisfaction.
The Kano Model analysis method
The KANO model analysis method is mainly to conduct research through standardized questionnaires, classify the attributes of each factor according to the survey results, and solve the positioning problem of product attributes to improve customer satisfaction.
1. Recognize product or service needs from the customer's perspective;
2. Design a Questionnaire;
3. Implement effective questionnaires;
4. Categorize survey results to build quality models;
5. Analyze quality models to identify the sensitivity of specific qualities;
1. Questions related to each user need in the KANO questionnaire have positive and negative questions. The difference between the positive and negative questions should be clear enough to prevent users from misunderstanding the questions:
2. In the questionnaire setting, if there are too many function points(more than 5), or the difference between the function points is not large, we need to group users, and each user should answer at most 5 function points.
3. Explanation of function: briefly describe the function point to ensure that users understand.
4. Options description: Since users have different understandings of "Like", "Must", "Neutral", "Live with", and "Dislike", it is necessary to give a unified explanation before filling out the questionnaire so that users have a relatively consistent standard and easy to answer.
Like: Make you feel satisfied, happy, surprised.
Must: Functions/services that you think are necessary and necessary.
Neutral: You don't particularly care, but it's acceptable.
Live with: You don't like it, but it's acceptable.
Dislike: Make you feel unsatisfied and unacceptable.
5. Add indicators that can be used for user analysis.
Analysis of Questionnaire Results
Kano Evaluation Table
Based on the combination of responses to the implemented and not implemented needs question the classification can be deduced (see Table 1). Questionable result answers are not taken into account during the evaluation. This is a basic way of using the Kano Model to evaluate the user needs/ customer preferences of new functions.
Customer Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction Analysis
In addition to the discussion of the Kano Evaluation Table, we also can calculate the Satisafction-Dissatisfaction coefficient by the percentage of functional attributes classified, indicating a function can increase satisfaction or eliminate dissatisfaction.
After implementing a new function/need, the Satisfaction coefficient is CS=(A+O)/(A+O+M+I).
After not implementing a new function/need, the Dissatisfaction coefficient is CD=-1*（O+M）/(A+O+M+I).
The CS coefficient is usually positive. It means that if we provide a new function to users, and the larger the positive value/closer to 1, users will be more satisfied, and the rise will be faster.
The CD coefficient is usually negative. It means that if we delete a function for users, and the more negative/closer the value is to -1, users will be more dissatisfied, and the decline will be faster.
Based on the CS and CD coefficients of a function, we can put the function into the Satisafction-Dissatisfaction Table, see Table 2.
Order of Function Priority
In product development, the order of function priority is generally: Must-be Qualities > One-dimensional Qualities > Attractive Qualities > Indifferent Qualities. However, it is necessary to consider the market strategy of the product. For example, the One-dimensional Qualities and Attractive Qualities can hit the user's itching points. To gain market share, One-dimensional Qualities and Attractive Qualities are more effective.
Matters Needing Attention
1. Needs will vary from person to person.
We need to meet the needs of the majority of the target users.
2. Needs to vary by culture
To satisfy the users in different regions, companies need to establish product localization teams to optimize the products that can suitable for different usage habits and different cultures. For example, a same mobile phone will have different selfie improvement algorithms in different regions.
3. Needs change over time
Compare the iPhones and old Nokia phones. Before the iPhone came up, customers want a Nokia phone with better cameras, iPhone means a phone with many Excitement Qualities at that time. But today, Apple is optimizing the first iPhone and do not have many things new.
Kano Model in Project Management
Project management (PM) is anticipated to play an integrated role to manage corporate resources with the constraints of time and cost to produce the highest quality of products. However, the approach of applying the standards and guidance to an existing product development process is not sufficiently illustrated in the literature. 
According to International Project Management Association (IPMA, 2006), a project is a series of operations with time and cost constraints that can realise a set of defined and deliverable objectives. The PMI (2013) defines a project as a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. ISO (2012) defines a project as a unique set of processes consisting of coordinated and controlled activities with start and finish dates, undertaken to achieve an objective. According to the definitions above, this study summarises that a project contains a series of interrelated activities, and completing these activities under time, cost, and quality standard constraints can reach a unique objective. Based on the definition of PM in PMI(2013), a tool that can help project managers make decisions in the product development process can assist product managers to achieve better project management performance.
In Sonia M's article, they designed a survey consisting of questions about the project management improvements in their product development process. And based on the results and the Kano Model Analysis, they found a more systematic way to organize and optimize the project management structure in the product development. Although the original purpose of the Kano Model is helping developers make decisions on functions of products. In another perspective, Kano Model is a qualitative and quantitative tool to help developers find out the deeper thoughts of users. Treat project management participants as project management users, the Kano Model can be a useful method to help project managers to optimize the project management process and performance.
Kano, Noriaki; Nobuhiku Seraku; Fumio Takahashi; Shinichi Tsuji (April 1984). "Attractive quality and must-be quality".
This article first introduced the Kano Model to the product development area. And this article defines the basic 5 customer preferences for the product and introduces how to use this model in product development in a basic way.
Choudhury, D.K., Gulati, U. Product attributes based on customer’s perception and their effect on customer satisfaction: the Kano analysis of mobile brands.
This article uses a quantitative way to use the Kano Model to analyze the customers' satisfaction and dissatisfactions with functions on mobile phones in the Indian market. By using Kano Model, they got an analysis result of customers' to different mobile brands in India.
Sonia M. Lo, Han-Ping Shen & James C. Chen (2017) An integrated approach to project management using the Kano model and QFD: an empirical case study.
Implemented the Kano Model into the project management process and based on the results of the surveys of project management participants in the product development, the author helped the client's company find a more systematic project management structure on the product development.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Kano, Noriaki; Nobuhiku Seraku; Fumio Takahashi; Shinichi Tsuji (April 1984). "Attractive quality and must-be quality". Journal of the Japanese Society for Quality Control (in Japanese). 14 (2): 39–48. ISSN 0386-8230. Archived from the original on 13 August 2011.
- ↑ Herzberg, Frederick; Mausner, B.; Snyderman, B.B. (1959). The motivation to work (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-37390-2.
- ↑ Pouliot, F. (1993), Customer-defined Quality, Center for Quality of Management Journal Volume 2, Number 4
- ↑ Choudhury, D.K., Gulati, U. Product attributes based on customer’s perception and their effect on customer satisfaction: the Kano analysis of mobile brands. Decision 47, 49–60 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40622-020-00233-x
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Sonia M. Lo, Han-Ping Shen & James C. Chen (2017) An integrated approach to project management using the Kano model and QFD: an empirical case study, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 28:13-14, 1584-1608, DOI: 10.1080/14783363.2016.1151780.
- ↑ International Project Management Association. (2006). ICB-IPMA competence baseline version 3.0. Nijkerk: Author.
- ↑ Project Management Institute. (2013). A guide to project management body of knowledge (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Author.
- ↑ ISO. (2012). ISO 21500:2012 guidance on project management, Geneva, Switzerland.