house of quality

House of Quality





HOQ is total or holistic approach to business; it goes beyond just focusing on customers or products alone. Therefore an organization cannot just wake up one day and decide that they want to integrate HOQ in their operations. It is a strategy process that an organization must prepare for in advance. This is why I want to study the characteristics that are supposed to be portrayed by S.L. Horsford’s in order to show their readiness for HOQ implementation. Obviously there are some issues that will need to be addressed while there are others which may be already in place. Others may need more time to be addressed whereas others may take a short time. This is why I want to identify all the areas that this company needs to re-align in readiness for HOQ implementation.

House of Quality Defined

House of Quality is a familiar term that has been used in the business cycles for quite along time. The Gurus of HOQ discipline like Juran, Deming, Ishikawa and Crosby have all defined HOQ concept in different methods but the spirit and essence still has more or less remained the same. In the words of Deming, “HOQ is a continuous quality improvement process aimed towards a predictable degree of dependability and uniformity”. He went ahead and identified fourteen principles of HOQ designed to improve performance and productivity of the company. On the same note Juran defined quality as “fitness for use.” Juran believes that every individual in the organization must be involved in activities that make goods or services that are fit for use. Crosby defines quality as “conformance to requirements”. Crosby’s aim is to do everything right at the first time so as to avoid defects as much as possible.

According to Brenda et al (1995), HOQ can be defined as an organisation’s continued endeavour to achieve quality assurance, planning, control and improvement. Thus we can say HOQ is a holistic approach to the ways in which an organisation conducts its operations. In the words of Ishikawa, (1985) HOQ can also be defined as a “management philosophy that aims to integrate all the functions of the organization”. This includes such areas like marketing, engineering, design, finance, and customer care to focus on meeting organizational objectives and customer needs even more effectively and efficiently. Thus Ishikawa agrees with Brenda et al that HOQ is a holistic approach towards organisational operations.

House of Quality looks at an organization or business concern as a collection of different processes but all aimed at one goal. It emphasizes that an organization must strive to achieve continuously improvement on its various processes. This is arrived at by incorporating the skills, experiences and knowledge of its employees. The simple objective of HOQ is “Do the right things, right the first time, every time”. Many authors in this subject have come to agree that HOQ is infinitely variable and adaptable. This is because even though originally it was applied to organisations that were in manufacturing industry (and remained so for a long time) HOQ is now becoming universally applicable to all types if organisations irrespective of the type of activity they are involved in.

One good thing about House of Quality is that it can be applied virtually in all business cycles. It does not matter how small or big, young or old, manufacturing or service, capital or labour intensive an organisation is. It can be applicable across the board. It is for this and more other reasons that HOQ has gained a lot of attention in the recent past among scholars, business executives, administrators, researchers and entrepreneurs alike (Brenda et al, 1995).


In each and every research that is being carried out, limitations are inevitable and this particular research is no exception. Limitations compromise the validity and quality of the research outcome and thus any researcher who wants to come up with a good report should try to minimize them as much as possible. However it is good to note that some limitations cannot be avoided, we can only learn to deal with them. The following are some of the limitations that were identified in this research:

Some respondents gave incomplete answers to the questionnaires

Difficulty in measuring some aspects of the research e.g. customers attitude

Unreliability of secondary data sources.

Limited resources e.g. time, funds, manpower etc

Prerequisites of HOQ

The measure of an organization`s quality management for manufacturing and service firms was proposed by Juran. Crosby also came up with an eight critical factors, also known as dimensions of HOQ. Later Deming developed 7 critical factors using “Deming management method” concept, which was later agreed with the empirical findings of Juran. Deming developed what is known as the Deming chain reaction. This simply means that as quality of a product or service improves, costs will substantially decrease while productivity will increase. This in the long run does not only help an organization achieve its objectives but also gain competitive advantage over rivals (Deming, 1982).

Deming maintains that his 14 points can be virtually applied across the board, to big institutions as well as small ones, to organizations in the manufacturing industry as well as the service firms. He points out that it is the system of work that determines how the job can be performed and it is only the managers that can create such system. He summarized his foundation work in quality by identifying fourteen points for institutions to follow. They are as outlined below:

Always aim to continuously improve on your products and services and the means to achieve it. This will make you remain competitive in the market.

Minimize commonly accepted levels of errors and defects as a new philosophy of quality.

Stop depending on mass inspection to improve quality. Aim o achieve quality from the first time and not wait for mistakes to happen then you start rectifying them.

Minimize cost by working with a single supplier by not awarding and choosing a supplier based on price.

The firm should always strive to improve the production system and service by continually improving test methods and identification of problems, from the very first planning stage right up to distribution to customers, thus constantly reducing costs.

Organization can also adopt current methods of training on the job. This can be met by training the workers on the best ways of achieving quality in their areas of specialization and the use of quality conformation tools such as SQC (statistical quality control).

Adopt and institute leadership to improve on a better delivery by machines and people.

Motivate the employees. Individuals tend work best when they feel that the organization values them by taking their interests in to consideration, assuring them of job security and career growth.

Adopt transparency and accessibility by creating teams of members possibly from all the institutions’ departments to prevent and solve problems.

Slogans and exhortations elimination for the workers who ask for defect free and new productivity levels.

Do away with standards of work or quotas and replace it with. Elimination of management which is based on numbers, statistical goals and if possible replaces it with leadership.

Make people feel they are part and parcel of the institution. This is done by removing hindrances that deny people off the pride of workmanship.

Put in place an education program that is vigorous and self- improving for everyone. This will improve the efficiency and quality service delivery.

Sensitize all workers of the institution to work towards accomplishing the change and transformation required in the institution. Make them understand that transformation incorporates all the workers.

The cornerstone of Deming’s philosophy is based on statistical process control (SPC), which must be implemented where corrective action can be successfully instituted. Top management involvement is a key requirement with proper delegation of quality responsibilities at all levels in an organisation. The recognition of training and leadership skills is vital in adopting Deming’s philosophy with continuous improvements never ending. The work findings on performance of business unraveled numerous studies that reveal the constructive results of putting in place and emphasizing quality management practices on business performance.

There exists a significant correlation amid the use of value performance concept and quality of firm, operations and performances in finance according to studies done by Garvin (1986). Advanced studies based on HOQ work was conducted by Crosby (1987) with the aim of to comparing the relationship between Total Quality factors and quality of the product as well as performances of finances across Europe, Asia, and North America. The study proved that almost all the 9 House of Quality factors were important for implementing quality management in Asia, Europe, and North America despite the fact that these three regions are different from each other in the lines of the relationships between the Critical Quality Factors (CQFs) for HOQ implementation and general firm performance. Crosby (1987) & Deming (1986) through their studies found out that the most significant factors for customer satisfaction and better performance of finance include; human resource focus, leadership commitment and may be process management. The focus of these studies is at identifying of critical success factors (CSFs) that the top management is committed to and the focus of human resource as major differentiating dimension of House of Quality implementation. In the real sense these dimensions of House of Quality implementation are hidden variables, and therefore are not measurable directly (Deming, 1986). For instance, the commitment of top management towards HOQ is hard to measure directly; however, noticeable involvement, direct participation in House of Quality implementation process and the availing of all required resources can be well thought-out as pure manifestations of top management’s commitment to achieving HOQ.


Crosby, P. B. (1987), Quality without tears, McGraw-Hill, Singapore.

Crosby, P. B. (1992). Completeness. Quality for the 21st century, Dutton, USA.

Deming, W. E. (1986), Out of the crisis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.

Brenda Weeks, Marilyn M. Helms & Lawrence P. Ettkin, (1995) “Is your organization ready for TQM? An assessment methodology”, The TQM Magazine, Vol. 7 Issue: 5.

Ishikawa, K. (1985). What is total quality control? The Japanese way, Prentice-Hall, New York.

Ishikawa, K. (1989). “How to apply companywide quality control in foreign countries”, Quality Progress.

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