House of Quality
House of Quality is a diagram, whose structure resembles that of a house, which aids in determining how a product is living up to customer needs. Although quite intricate, it is capable of storing a lot of information and comparing large amounts of data used for defining the relationship between customer desires and the firm/product capabilities. It is a part of the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and utilizes a planning matrix to relate what the customer wants to how a firm (that produces the products) is going to meet those wants. It looks like a house with a "correlation matrix" as its roof, customer wants versus product features as the main structure, competitor evaluation as the porch, etc. It is based on "the belief that products should be designed to reflect customers' desires and tastes". It also is reported to increase cross functional integration within organizations using it, especially between marketing, engineering and manufacturing.
The basic structure is a table with "Whats" as the labels on the left and "Hows" across the top. The roof is a diagonal matrix of "Hows vs. Hows" and the body of the house is a matrix of "Whats vs. Hows". Both of these matrices are filled with indicators of whether the interaction of the specific item is a strong positive, a strong negative, or somewhere in between. Additional annexes on the right side and bottom hold the "Whys" (market research, etc.) and the "How Muches". Rankings based on the Whys and the correlations can be used to calculate priorities for the Hows.
House of Quality analysis can also be cascaded, with "Hows" from one level becoming the "Whats" of a lower level; as this progresses the decisions get closer to the engineering/manufacturing details.
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