Hauser, John R. and Don Clausing (1988), "The House of Quality," Harvard Business Review, Vol. No. 3, (May-June), 63-73. Reprinted in The Product Development Challenge, Kim B. Clark and Steven C. Wheelwright, eds., Harvard Business Review Book, Boston MA 1995. Reprinted in IEEE Engineering Management Review, 24, 1, Spring 1996. Translated into German and published in Hermann Simon and Christian Homburg (1998), Kunderzufriedenheit, (Druck and Buchbinder, Hubert & Co.: Gottingen, Germany).

Digital Equipment, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, and ITT are getting started with it. Ford and General Motors use it - at Ford alone there are more than 50 applications. The "house of quality," the basic design tool of the management approach known as quality function deployment (QFD), originated in 1972 at Mitsubishi's Kobe shipyard site. Toyota and its suppliers then developed it in numerous ways. The house of quality has been used successfully by Japanese manufacturers of consumer electronics, home appliances, clothing, integrated circuits, synthetic rubber, construction equipment, and agricultural engines. Japanese designers use it for services like swimming schools and retail outlets and even for planning apartment layouts.

A set of planning and communication routines, quality function deployment focuses and coordinates skills within an organization, first to design, then to manufacture and market goods that customers want to purchase and will continue to purchase. The foundation of the house of quality is the belief that products should be designed to reflect customer's desires and tastes - so marketing people, design engineers, and manufacturing staff must work closely together from the time a product is first conceived.

The house of quality is a kind of conceptual map that provides the means for interfunctional planning and communications. People with different problems and responsibilities can trash out design priorities while referring to patterns of evidence on the house's grid.