Last Updated on 13 September 2023
When you gather the Voice of Customer (VOC) data, it’s essential to transform that information into actionable insights to enhance your systems effectively. The House of Quality (HOQ) tool, used in the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) methodology, is a powerful instrument for honing in on these customer needs, prioritizing them, and creating a targeted action plan.
What is the House of Quality?
Deriving its name from its visual resemblance to a house, the House of Quality chart is a matrix-based structure that enables organizations to map customer requirements to technical features and performance indicators for better product design or process improvement.
Key Components of the House of Quality
- Customer Requirements: These are captured through VOC surveys, interviews, and other data collection methods. List them down in the matrix, typically in the first column.
- Technical Features: Identify the technical characteristics of your product or process that are pertinent to fulfilling the customer requirements. These are placed in the first row.
- Relationship Matrix: This is the main body of the House of Quality chart. Compare each customer requirement with its respective technical feature and use symbols to signify the relative strength of their relationship. Symbols commonly used include:
- Strong relationship: Circle
- Moderate relationship: Triangle
- Weak relationship: Square
- No relationship: Empty cell
- Roof of the House: The triangular matrix above the technical features represents the interplay between the different technical features. Use symbols to indicate whether the relationship is positive or negative. This will help identify any trade-offs or synergy opportunities during the development process.
- Customer Importance Weight: Assign a numeric weight to each customer requirement, reflecting its relative importance. This aids in prioritizing technical features that should be focused on.
- Technical Feature Rating: Compute the total score for each technical feature by multiplying its relationship strength with its respective customer importance weight and then summing them up.
- Competitor Benchmarking: Evaluate competitors’ products or processes against the same customer requirements, allowing for direct competitive analysis.
Benefits of the House of Quality
The House of Quality offers several advantages to organizations aiming for continuous improvement:
- Enhances communication and collaboration between cross-functional teams.
- Visualizes the connection between customer requirements and technical specifications.
- Prioritizes elements of product or process development through weighting.
- Identifies synergies and trade-offs within the design process.
- Allows for a quantitative competitive analysis.
The House of Quality is a valuable tool for transforming the VOC data into actionable plans. By carefully mapping customer requirements to technical features and assessing their relationships, organizations can better focus on what really matters to their customers, ensuring success in the ever-competitive marketplace.