House of Quality

Posted in Operations & IT Articles, Total Reads: 22200 , Published on 12 July 2011
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Total Quality Management or TQM is a management concept in which an organization aims at improving processes, products and services continuously to achieve customer satisfaction. The main aim of Japanese philosophy used in any organization is customer satisfaction. Customer is the focus and continuously improving the various processes is the culture adopted by everyone to achieve it.


House of Quality

Quality Function Deployment or QFD is a tool used for planning in organizations. Planning begins by first analyzing the customer requirements. The customer requirements need not always be technically correct. Customers give descriptive requirements. For instance, requirements for a mobile phone maybe given as slim, water proof, long battery life, mp3, radio, large screen, camera, light weight, etc. These requirements are vague and descriptive. These requirements cannot be given to the technical team in order to manufacture a mobile phone.

QFD translates the customer requirements into technical descriptors. Customer requirements or needs also called ‘voice of customer’ is translated or converted into technical descriptions of the same requirements.

House of Quality or HOQ is a tool used in QFD to do the same. It is the most convenient and simple tool used to convert the customer needs into technical descriptors. House of quality is actually a matrix also called Quality Matrix. The matrix gives us details like customer requirements, technical descriptors, priority of the various descriptors, relationship between the descriptors, target values for each descriptor, etc. It also shows competitive evaluation between various other products with the current product.

The skeleton of the House of quality is as follows;

house of quality skeleton 

The ceiling of the house gives the various technical descriptors. The technical descriptors of the product are provided through engineering design constraints, requirements and various parameters. The roof of the house gives inter-relationship between the various technical descriptors.

On the left side wall we have the list of customer requirements. On the right side wall we have the prioritized customer requirement that reflects importance of the needs of the customer. It shows competitive benchmarking, customer importance rating. The interior of the house gives inter-relationship between the voice of customer and the technical descriptors.

The base or foundation of the house gives the prioritized technical descriptors. It also shows factors like technical benchmarking, target values and importance of technical descriptors.

The House of Quality for a mobile phone is shown below as an example:

House of Quality Example


The focus in HOQ is the correlation between the indentified customer needs, called the ‘Whats’, and the engineering characteristics, called the ‘Hows’. HOQ is a kind of conceptual map which provides all details required for inter-functional planning and communication. The various departments in an organization must work closely together to form the HOQ. Hence the QFD team includes the marketing, design and manufacturing staff all working together.

Advantages of HOQ are many. Some of them are listed below;

  • Reduces time required for planning
  • Focuses completely on customer needs
  • Reduces design changes
  • Improved quality
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Decreased design and manufacture costs
  • Reduces time to market
  • Helps in prioritizing various design parameters
  • Aids in Benchmarking

The HOQ hence gives the idea that what product requirements will satisfy the customer. Strengths and weaknesses can be identified from the matrix, also, opportunities for breakthrough. By improving the weaknesses the competitiveness of the product can be enhanced.

About the Author : Sharmeen Sahibole is a student of M.E. Robotics.  Views are personal.



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