House of Quality – What It Is And How To Build Yours
Quality Function Deployment or The House of Quality, is often briefly introduced in free Six Sigma courses online, but don’t underestimate it. The House of Quality is a powerful tool Six Sigma Black Belt professionals use during the first phase of the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) cycle of Six Sigma projects. It is a very advanced Lean technique that can be more useful than you think. Let’s discuss how to make a QFD, follow this tutorial for creating a house of quality.
What You Need To Know Before Getting Started With your House of Quality
No matter what the House of Quality tutorials and the blog posts filled with complicated jargon say, creating a House of Quality is not as difficult as you might think.
We’ll guide you through this process by giving you the steps you need to follow to get started. Grab a pen or open a new google doc, and start taking notes!
The Foundation For Your House of Quality
Following this House of Quality tutorial will give us all the steps we need to get a foundation started, so we can build a House of Quality. Take a look:
- Successfully identify what your consumer wants. (Service, product, etc)
- Pinpoint the specific features and characteristics that will please your customer. (User Interface, Localization, Customized features)
- Recognize the connections between a couple of how’s. Ask yourself “How do our how’s relate to each other?” and “What is the correlation between the how’s?”.
- Use your customer’s importance ratings and weights from the relationships in the matrix to calculate your importance ratings. (Is the customer likely to purchase a high ticket item, or unlikely to purchase anything at all at this stage in their purchase journey?)
- Assess the competition by asking yourself how well competing products meet your customer’s needs, and conduct the appropriate research. (A better product is what gives you the edge)
- Determine the desirable technical attributes by comparing your performance to your competitor’s. (Data is key here, never underestimate how powerful customer data can be)
How To Create House Of Quality
Now that you have all the basics, it’s time to get started and build your House of Quality. Grasping this information gets easier when we analyze it through an example, so let’s get creative and make a House of Quality for cake.
Step 1 – Determine Your Customer’s Wants
Start by naming some of the main characteristics anyone looks for in your product. For our example, we will use cake:
- Great flavor for your customer (Strawberry, chocolate, etc.)
- Affordable price range
- Healthy alternatives (Low-sugar, gluten-free, vegan, etc.)
- Beautiful decoration (Elaborate or simple, design is a judging point)
- Freshly made
- Smooth texture
You need to analyze the main features of the product to start building a House of Quality for it. Try your best to come up with them and get second opinions as well, make it a group activity if you can.
- Great Flavor. Our first feature, and what people care the most about, is flavor. Even if something doesn’t look perfect, if the taste is good, people will want it. Great flavor should always be a priority.
- Affordable. In this day and age, there’s so much competition around that good flavor is no longer enough. Your cake needs to be affordable, without compromising the taste, of course.
- Healthy alternatives. People are starting to look into healthy alternatives for everything they eat, and that includes cake. The more options you have, the more your product will stand out from the rest.
- Beautiful decoration. Pretty self-explanatory: the prettier your cake looks, the more delicious your customers will think it is. Never underestimate the power of having a colorful, vibrant product!
- Freshly made. Imagine getting a special cake for your birthday, only for it to taste stale and stiff. If the cake is freshly made, your customers will be able to tell, and they will know they are getting a quality product whenever they come back.
- Smooth texture. Being able to decorate the cake in a way that hides any imperfection can be enough for some customers, but others will notice if there’s something wrong with the shape or texture, so even if it’s not as important as the other 5, it should still be considered.
Now it’s time to determine the importance ratings we’ll need to build our House of Quality. This will be done in accordance with our customer’s needs and rated from one to six.
Step 2 – Identify How Your Product Will Please Your Customer
For the second step of creating a House of Quality, we need to pinpoint the specific features and characteristics that our product offers in order to please the customer. Before we get to baking and selling our cake, we need to examine those and determine what our product will provide.
Here’s our list for cake:
- A variety of delicious flavors
- Different sizes for every occasion
- Gluten-free, low-sugar, and vegan options
- Several textures to choose from
- Eye-catching decorations
- Adjusting the intensity of flavor to taste
Let’s continue building our House of Quality by taking a closer look at each of them.
A Variety Of Delicious Flavors
Having different, delicious flavors to choose from is one of the best ways to win more customers. Why have just vanilla customers when you can get the chocolate and strawberry crowd as well!
Different Sizes For Every Occasion
Some of your customers will want a small cake to celebrate something like a job promotion with their partners, and others will need a party cake that feeds the whole family; it’s in your best interest to be ready and provide everyone with the perfect option for their own unique occasion.
You will also have to keep in mind that different sizes mean different costs. A smaller cake will need a different price than a full-sized one.
Gluten-free, Low-Sugar & Vegan Options
Whether it’s for health reasons, allergies, or just taste preference, having gluten-free, low-sugar, and vegan options for your cake will make your business reach a bigger audience that might not be able to enjoy a regular cake. You might also get customers that come to you specifically because you offer these alternatives.
Several Textures To Choose From
Texture is one of the biggest characteristics people notice in food, and having the wrong texture can be a deal-breaker for some. Offering several moisture levels to choose from and giving your customers the option to get a crumbly, dry, or creamy and moist cake will delight them and make them feel like they’re truly getting their money’s worth. Besides, different textures mean different ingredients, which can affect the prices, so keeping this in mind can help you work out the right amount to charge for each cake.
For your cake to look as appetizing as possible, there needs to be artificial coloring and decorations added to it. The prettier your cake looks, the more likely it is that it will catch your customer’s attention.
Adjusting Flavor Intensity
If you offer a bitter dark chocolate cake you know it’s probably not going to be the kids’ favorite. Having a range of flavor intensity from light to deep flavors will benefit your business greatly.
Step 3 – Develop And Connect Your How’s
Developing your HOWs consists of asking yourself how your product will capture your customers and satisfy them. Recognizing the connections between them will help you with the next step of creating your House of Quality.
Once you have your HOWs, you can continue to develop a relationship matrix that connects them and shows you how they are related.
Step 4 – Calculate Your Importance Ratings
Calculating your importance ratings can be a bit tricky and time-consuming, but it will be worth it once you’re done with your House of Quality.
The first thing we need to do is further develop the relationship matrix between the HOWs and WANTs so we can finish up and calculate the importance ratings.
Step 5 – Assess The Competition
You’re almost done building your House of Quality! For this step, you will have to assess the competition by comparing your product’s features with others in the same industry.
If you want a more detailed and comprehensive report about your cake, you need to do the appropriate research and compare it to other companies’ cakes. You never know when a customer will be right on the edge of picking between two companies. Knowing your competition will help you get to know your customer as well.
Step 6 – Pin Down And Determine Technical Attributes
To finish up building your House of Quality, you need to determine the desirable technical attributes by comparing your performance to your competitor’s according to market products.
And there we have it.
Go Ahead And Do It
We created this House of Quality tutorial with extensive research and care, so you can have all the appropriate tools you need to get it done. If you’re just starting to look into how to make a QFD, don’t let the process scare you away. Building a House of Quality can be time-consuming and a bit hard to wrap your head around the first time you try it, but always trust your knowledge and stay focused. Make sure you follow these steps carefully and take detailed notes, and you will be building your very own House of Quality in no time. We wish you the best of luck with your project!