House of Quality Matrix

Summary

Provides a semi-scientific method for determining which combinations of customer requirements and technical requirements have the most leverage for improving products or services. The House of Quality (HOQ) matrix is also used as a benchmarking tool to compare your product or service to the products or services of your primary competitors.

Answers the questions:
  • How well does our current product or service deliver customer requirements?
  • How well do our competitors’ products or services deliver customer requirements?
  • How well do our current technical capabilities support customer requirements?
  • How well do our current technical requirements match customer requirements?
  • How do our current technical requirements compare to those of our competitors?
  • Which customer requirements are the most important ones?
  • Improvements related to which technical requirements would result in the most significant gains?
When to Use Purpose
Pre-project The HOQ matrix is one of the most effective tools for identifying product or service areas where improvements will have the greatest effect on customers. It also benchmarks the products or services of primary competitors, identifying areas where your products or services lag behind those of your competitors and areas in which enhancements can create competitive advantages. Identifying major improvement areas allows you to create a list of potential improvement projects.

Data

No data requirements exist because you only use this tool to collect and organize data.

How-To

  1. Fill in the HOQ matrix as a cross-functional team to ensure that all elements are completed as accurately as possible.
  2. Develop a list of customer requirements. Obtain these requirements from various sources, including (but not limited to) marketing, customer support, sales, engineering, R&D, customer interviews, customer surveys, and so on. Include applicable governmental regulations in this list.
  3. Develop a list of internal technical requirements, which you can use internally to define product or service specifics.
  4. Select your primary competitors. The Qeystone HOQ matrix has inputs for two primary competitors, although the form can be edited to allow for any number of competitors.
  5. For each customer requirement, enter the following information into the corresponding row of the matrix:
    • The importance of the requirement to the customer. To the extent possible, these ratings should be determined by customers. The Qeystone HOQ matrix utilizes a 1-to-5 rating scale with 5 having the highest importance and 1 having the lowest importance.
    • For each technical requirement, rate the relationship between the customer requirement and the technical requirement, choosing either None, Weak, Medium, or Strong from the drop-down menu.
    • An overall customer rating of how well your product or service delivers that particular requirement. The scale used is 1-to-5, with 5 as the strongest match to the customer requirement and 1 as the weakest match.
    • An overall customer rating of how well your competitors’ products or services deliver that particular requirement, using the same 1-to-5 scale as above.
    • The planned rating, which is the goal for delivering that particular customer requirement.
    • A sales point value representing the multiplier effect that a competitive advantage for a particular requirement achieves from a sales perspective. Choose from possible values of 1.0 (no effect), 1.1 (10% gain), 1.2 (20% gain), 1.3 (30% gain), 1.4 (40% gain), or 1.5 (50% gain).
  6. For each technical requirement, enter the following information into the corresponding column, in the Benchmarking section at the bottom of the matrix:
    • Your specifications for your own product or service relative to each technical requirement.
    • Your specifications for the products or services of your competitors, relative to each technical requirement.
  7. After you enter the information into the matrix, you can use the matrix to determine:
    • The technical requirements having the most influence on customer requirements.
    • The customer requirements having the largest impact.

Guidelines

  • This tool should always be completed by a cross-functional team who will participate in the exercise throughout its entire duration.
  • The House of Quality matrix should not be confused with a quality function deployment (QFD), because it is only a portion of a full QFD exercise.
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