House of Quality (HOQ) is used to determine how well a new product meets the costumer’s needs, a voice of customer analysis tool. Its name comes from the shape of the correlation matrix, which look similar to a house. It is an essential part in the beginning of a QFD (Quality Function Deployment) process.
Why use House of Quality
When developing a new product, it is essential to know the costumers requirement and needs. If you don’t listen to the Voice of the customer (VOC) as part of the initial phase of developing a new product, chances are you are spending a lot of money and resources on a new product your costumers don’t want or need.
House of Quality is a tool to correlate the needs of a costumer with the design, and steer it in the right direction. Developing a new product without information on customer needs, is a bit similar to driving your car with closed eyes. I both scenarios it is an accident waiting to happen.
Creating a House of Quality
At the first look the HOQ can look a bit confusing, but we have outlined the steps to go through below. If you follow them systematically step by step, you will end up with a populated HOQ.
- First step is to enter the costumer requirement into the left column of the House of Quality. This is information from VOC, but before using the data it need to be organized and evaluated. In addition to this all the regulatory requirements the product must follow should be added as well.
- Rate all the requirements in a scale from 1-5 in terms of their importance to the costumer.
- Evaluate earlier versions of the product against competitor in terms of price, warranty, reliability, costumer complaints etc. Consider strength/weakness compared to the competition,
- Establish functional requirements which respond to customer requirements, and list them in the row below the roof of the house. These are engineering parameters describing what the product is and does.
- Populate the relationship matrix to show the relationship between engineering parameters and the costumer’s needs. Use the values 1, 3 and 9 indicating a week, moderate or strong relationship. Check is all costumers needs have been addressed and if there are any engineering parameters that does not relate to customer needs.
- Develop preliminary target values for the functional requirements.
- Now we move on to the roof of the house where the first row is used to indicate if a parameter is better with a high or a low value. For example with a car the weight is better when low, but the MPG is better when it is high.
- The rest of the roof is the relationship matrix which is the next step. Show the relationship between the engineering parameters, and how a change in one parameter affects the other. For example for car, where making it lighter with lightweight materials could cause an increase in production cost. You can use symbols such as + and – to represent the effect, + for a positive, and ++ for a strong positive. 0 could be used to indicate no effect.
- Calculate importance ratings by multiplying the customer importance rating with the value for relationship strength in each box, and sum up the numbers in each column.
- Define the difficulty for each engineering parameter using a scale from 1-5.
- Analyse the matrix and finalize the product development strategy and product plans
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