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Your QFD takes too long? This is why...

One reader asked:

"I have heard that it can take up to 18 months!! to complete a House of Quality matrix. Is it possible? The company involved was in finance sector."

(House of Quality)The House of Quality (HOQ) is an assembly of several deployment hierarchies and tables. These include the Demanded Quality Hierarchy (rows), Quality Characteristics Hierarchy (columns), the relationships matrix which relates them using any one of several distribution methods, the Quality Planning Table (right side room), and Design Planning Table (bottom room).

Deployment and manageability of a House of Quality seems to be one recurring nightmare for some. Here is our reply. You, too, may find it useful.

Dear Reader:

Thank you for your interest in QFD. We understand your concern for the amount of time required to do QFD.

Here are some reasons why QFD could take too long:

  1. You do not have a QFD process tailored to the needs of your business. Instead, you are trying to fit your business and project process into a certain QFD model (most likely outdated model) designed for some other business. There is no one-size-fits-all QFD.
  2. You think that the House of Quality matrix (HOQ) is a necessary part of QFD. The HOQ is just one specialized tool. It is most often associated with QFD, but it is used in many non-QFD studies also. In fact, HOQ may be unnecessary or even detrimental, depending on your project. Dr. Akao, the founder of QFD, has said numerous times, "A House of Quality is not QFD."
    In Modern QFD, HOQ is often replaced with Maximum Value Table and other newer tools that deliver QFD analysis in a more agile, efficient manner. Modern QFD's new tools give you better Voice of the Customer analysis, efficiency and power that are essential to DFSS / DFLS and New Product Development projects in this new economy.
  3. You are confused about how the House of Quality works with other tools and matrices. You are trying to put all your data into one matrix. In a worst case scenario, one manufacturing company tried to put all their data into a single matrix. It produced over 1,000 rows and 1,000 columns. This meant that the team had to examine over one million intersecting cells — an impossible job that was abandoned in the middle.
    Sound QFD application uses several tools iteratively. In fact, each data type can have its own "mini-matrix" that is far more efficient than a mammoth matrix. A good QFD trainers and practitioners should be able to tell when the use of the House of Quality matrix is appropriate, when it is not appropriate, and why.
  4. You are not aware of many advancements that have been made in Modern QFD in the last decade. You might have learned QFD from books that were based on 40-year old examples and techniques. Or you might have been trained by someone who also learned QFD from such outdated resource and never attended the International QFD Belt® Certificate training.

In any case, it is time to update your knowledge and skills so you and your business can successfully compete in this global economy. QFD Green Belt® Certificate Course is an excellent starting point for many professionals who are in charge of NPD, DFLS/DFSS, business development, and marketing. You can immediately start practicing applying Modern QFD tools on your work project, and the course include complimentary templates including the modern HOQ and AHP.

In conclusion, to apply QFD effectively with its full power, and without wasting resources, you have to know which tool in which sequence is most appropriate for what you are trying to achieve. Using the wrong tools in the wrong process leads to an excessively time-consuming process and ineffective results. Even the type of industry sector may have no bearing on the amount of time required for QFD.

For today's businesses which are often under-staffed and constrained by time and budget, Modern QFD methods are definitely more appropriate for your downsized resources.

As for the financial company that you mentioned, we hope they will take our advice and improve their use of QFD.


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