What is a House of Quality (HQ)?

The QFD House of Quality (HOQ) tool is an analysis of customer voice. You can decide which product specifications are most important by analyzing multiple factors such as competitor research and customer needs.

How to Use the House of Quality (HOQ)

We’ll walk you through the steps of creating a House of Quality, using an example of QFD for a new smartphone company.

1. Add ratings and customer feedback

You’ll need to enter your most important research findings on the left-hand side of the House of Quality. In this House of Quality example for smartphones, the customer is concerned about these qualities:

  • Size
  • Weight
  • Easy to use
  • Reliable
  • Buy Cheap
  • Big screen
  • Long-lasting battery
  • High-quality camera

On a scale from 1 to 5, rate the importance of each customer’s need. It’s fine to give multiple ratings of 5 or 4. The ratings don’t need to be in whole numbers.

On the right, you will calculate the percent customer importance for each requirement. Divide the total number of ratings by the rating that was given to each requirement.

2. List design requirements

You can add the design requirements of the product horizontally above the matrix. These include weight, production cost, and operating system.

3. Consider the relationship between design and customer requirements

You’ll use the relationship matrix to identify the degree of influence each design parameter has on the customer needs. Use the following symbols.

If customers want a cheaper smartphone, for example, the production cost will have a large impact on the price. Operating system, battery, and glass will also have an impact on the cost of the product, but less so.

After you have completed the relationship matrix you can add each design requirement’s importance rating as well as its percent importance. Multiply the percent of importance with the relationship score to calculate the importance rating. In our House of Quality (HOQ) example “size” would have a customer importance score of 4% and a relationship score of 9, so the total is 0.36. Add the calculations to get an importance rating.

Divide each rating by the total to get your percentages. Your company will likely prioritize or invest more in the requirements that have the highest percentages of importance ratings.

4. Completing the correlation matrix

The correlation matrix determines how the design requirements work together or against each other.

You’ll indicate whether you prefer the feature to be higher (up arrow) or lower (down arrow) above each design requirement. As an example, it is better to have a lighter smartphone, so this example has a downward arrow. On the other side, it is preferable that the battery be higher. (Last longer) So the House of Quality (HOQ) example includes an upward arrow. The ratings are open to interpretation.

You can determine the correlation of different design requirements using these symbols. The correlation matrix legend can be used to indicate these relationships by placing the appropriate symbol in the squares between features.

The operating system, for example, will have a significant impact on the life expectancy of the smartphone. Both features are positive because they both have upward arrows.

5. Add competitor research

The competitive assessment will show you how your competitors currently rank in terms of each customer’s needs. This allows you to determine what you have overlooked and how you could gain an edge over them.

Correlation matrix and competitor research do not change the importance rating, but they provide additional insights to help you decide which customer requirements and design requirements are most important.

That’s it! You’re now finished with your House of Quality (HOQ). This matrix will guide you in determining the features that your product must have to meet your customers’ expectations. This will be an invaluable tool for documenting the Voice of the Customer and keeping processes on track during production.