Definition

Kano Analysis

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What is the Kano model?

A professor of quality management, Dr Noriaki Kano introduced the Kano model in 1984. The model was created while Dr Kano was researching the attributes which contribute to the customer’s loyalty and satisfaction. The model highlighted five categories of customer reactions towards new product features, ranging from dissatisfaction to indifference. Excitement features and customer delight lie at the top level in this model.

The Kano model is a customer satisfaction model which helps in prioritising the features of a product on the product roadmap based on the features perceived as satisfactory by the customers. The product design team can measure the cost of feature implementation against the satisfaction perceived by the customers. Based on the cost and satisfaction analysis, the team decides whether adding a feature to a product is a strategically sound decision or not.

The Kano model is a prioritisation framework that helps the product design team in picking the features of a product. To illustrate Kano model helps the product development team to ascertain the factors which not only satisfy the customer but also bring them delight. Generally, product managers employ the Kano model to determine the priority of new features by grouping them. The categories created by the product manager can range from the features which add a high level of satisfaction to the features which add a high level of disappointment.

The model focuses on the reaction of the customers for each distinct feature. This feature distinguishes the Kano model from another prioritisation models. For instance, the Kano model ignores the revenue stream which is considered by the benefit vs cost model.

 

Summary
  • A professor of quality management, Dr Noriaki Kano introduced the Kano model in 1984 while researching the attributes which contribute to customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  • The Kano model is a customer satisfaction model which helps in prioritising the features of a product on the product roadmap based on the features perceived as satisfactory by the customers.
  • Based on the cost and satisfaction analysis, the team decides whether adding a feature to a product is a strategically sound decision or not.
  • The Kano model is a prioritisation framework that helps the product design team to decide which features to include in a product.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Kano analysis?

The product development team creates a list of the new features for the product roadmap and development resources while employing the Kano model. Afterwards these features are weighted as per the two criteria, that is, the investment required for the implementation of the feature and its potential to satisfy the customers.

What are the features of the Kano model?

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The features can be categorised into two broad categories, that is, features to avoid and features to include.

Features to avoid are those that a product manager will aim to keep away from the product roadmap. It includes features of dissatisfaction and indifference.

Features to include are those features that a product manager would like to include in the roadmap, they are:

  1. Basic features – These features will be included in the roadmap as they make the product competitive. These features are taken for granted by the customers but are still required by them. Non-inclusion of basic features results in dissatisfaction.
  2. Excitement features – With the investment in the exciting features, the customer’s delight is leveraged. If these features are not included, then it will not affect the customers but adding them will increase the overall customer’s delight.
  3. Performance features – These features increase the customer’s satisfaction. These features also affect the customers’ buying decision. In case of their absence, the customer might shift to the competitor’s product.

What are the project areas where the Kano model analysis can be useful?

Kano model can be useful in the following areas:

  • Identification of the customer needs.
  • Concept development.
  • Ascertaining the functional requirements.
  • Analysing the competitive products.

What tools can be combined with the Kano model?

Some tools that can be combined with the Kano model are:

  • Value analysis
  • Quality function deployment
  • Prioritisation matrices
  • Eliciting customer input

When should Kano analysis be implemented?

The Kano model is generally adopted by teams with limited resources and time. The teams that require guidance to find out minimum-threshold features that their product can improve with.

Furthermore, the model helps in ascertaining the features which will add customer delight and the features which will leverage customer satisfaction.

How to implement the Kano model?

  • For applying the Kano model, the product manager must ask only a few questions to the customer:
  • What is the level of satisfaction if a specific feature is added to the product?
  • What is the level of dissatisfaction if a specific feature is added to the product?

The options should be generalised such as, satisfied, neutral, dissatisfied and do not care.

  • For the basic or threshold attributes, the response is either satisfied or dissatisfied. Besides the basic attributes, the answer to the remaining attributes has an impact on the success of the product.
  • The inclusion or exclusion criteria for the excitement and performance attributes should be judged based on their importance for the customers and should be a trade-off against the cost. Most of the customers might say that more the number of features, better the product will be. Therefore, another question can be added such as ‘how much you are willing to pay for a specific feature or an attribute within the product?’ This question will act as an aid for the trade-off decision, especially in the context of the performance attributes.
  • The product development team should give special attention to the attribute’s which receive a “do not care” response, because these attributes will not add to either customer’s satisfaction or delight and the customer is not willing to pay extra for these types of attributes. The product development team should not dismiss these attributes from the product roadmap as these attributes might be playing a crucial role in the functionality of the product or in future, might add to the customers’ satisfaction.