Take a tour through 40, Acacia Avenue, the House of Quality, it’s at the heart of the road to better design
Last time we provided a brief introduction to the DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyse, Design and Verify) method for innovation and design. This time, we’ll take a tour through the House of Quality, otherwise known as Quality Function Deployment (QFD). But it’s only a tour and not a full structural survey! The house is explored in more detail in our three day Lean Six Sigma Innovation and Design course in London beginning on 28th April
40, Acacia Avenue – seven rooms with a view
The House of Quality (QFD) is an holistic and systematic business approach to delivering customer value by breaking down needs into specific and measurable features. The process of building the House of Quality begins with Room 1, though some preliminary work will have been carried out in identifying and segmenting customers, building a data collection plan and conducting appropriate research.
In Room 1, you are taking your Voice of the Customer Information and translating it, so t hat you are able to develop Critical to Quality statements – the CTQs. Once you have completed the CTQs, their relative importance is established in Room 2. This is where we understand the customer’s importance and priority ratings, and their comparative perceptions of your competitors. So, how important is the want and need to the customer? How do they perceive you, compared to the ‘best of the competition’. And who is the best?
In Room 3 we start moving from the what to the how, translating the customer’s wants and needs into ‘characteristics and measures’. For each customer attribute, ask either “how” or, and, considering the portfolio of customer needs “what characteristics and measures will indicate
how well you are meeting their needs? “
In Room 4 we are looking to understand the relationship between the product or service characteristics and measures, and the customer’s wants and needs. Remembering that Room 1 is about the ‘whats’ and Room 3 is about the ‘hows’, the key question we are asking when we complete Room 4 is, “can this how achieve this what”. “And to what level’?”
In Room 5 we are looking to understand how your company compares to its most serious competitors by obtaining and understanding their service data.
Room 6 is where you establish the preliminary targets and specification limits that will deliver customer satisfaction. Not only will you need to satisfy yourself that your targets and specification limits are appropriate, you will also need to understand your capability to achieve this level of performance.
Room 7 puts the roof on the house. It looks at the impact of each of the measures characteristics on the CTQs and how they affect each other. The relationship matrix should be filled by working in columns. You first need to look at each measure and put a symbol against each by assessing the
likely impact of increasing, reducing or hitting the target for that measure on the customer’s CTQs.
So, our house may not be in the middle of our street, but it’s certainly at the heart of the road to ensuring right first time performance from effective and efficient design.