Summary

Provides a semi-scientific method for selecting which of several competing designs or strategies best matches a list of requirements. You can use the Pugh matrix to rate proposed product designs versus a baseline design, which can be the current design or a preferred new design, using a list of customer requirements as the criteria for comparison. The Pugh matrix can also be used to rate proposed improvements vs a baseline improvement, which might be the improvement suggested by the team or by management, using organizational goals or customer needs as the criteria for comparison.

Answers the questions:
  • Which product design proposal best matches customer requirements and other organizational goals?
  • How do alternative product design proposals compare to the current (or preferred) design?
  • Which improvement strategy best matches organizational goals?
  • How do alternative improvement proposals compare to the suggested improvement?
When to Use Purpose
Mid-project Team-based decision tool for evaluating improvement proposals against weighted criteria established for the organization. The outcome is a score measuring how well each improvement proposal matches the selection criteria relative to the baseline improvement.
Mid-project Team-based decision tool for evaluating product design proposals against a weighted list of customer requirements. The outcome is a score measuring how well each design proposal matches the customer requirements, relative to the baseline design.

Data

No data requirements exist because you only use this tool to collect and organize data.

How-To

  1. Develop a list of the selection criteria. For evaluating product designs, list VOC requirements; for evaluating improvement proposals, list customer requirements or organizational improvement goals.
  2. Develop a list of all potential improvement solutions or all product designs to be rated.
  3. Select one potential improvement or product design as the baseline - all other proposals are compared to the baseline.
    • For product designs, the baseline is usually either the current design or a preferred new design.
    • For improvement proposals, the baseline is usually the improvement suggested by the team or an improvement that has strong management support.
  4. Enter the baseline proposal in the space provided.
  5. Enter the alternative product or improvement proposals along the left side of the matrix and the selection criteria across the top of the matrix.
  6. Apply a weighting factor to all the selection criteria. These weights might not be the same for all projects, as they can reflect localized improvement needs or changes in customer requirements. Use a 1-to-9 scale for weighting the importance of the selection criteria, using 1 for the least important criteria and 9 for the most important criteria.
  7. Based on team input, score how well the baseline proposal matches each of the selection criteria. Use a 1-to-9 scale for scoring the baseline, using 9 for very strong matches to the criteria, and 1 for very poor matches to the criteria.
  8. For each alternative proposal, the team should determine whether the alternative is Better, the Same, or Worse than the baseline, relative to each of the selection criteria:
    • Better results in a +1 score
    • Same results in a 0 score
    • Worse results in a -1 score
  9. Multiply the scores by the criteria weights and add them together to obtain the weighted score for each alternative.

Guidelines

  • Use this tool as a team exercise. Do not complete it individually.
  • The Pugh Matrix tool is similar to the Solution Desirability Matrix tool. Both tools are designed to facilitate a semi-scientific method for choosing the best proposal from a list of competing proposals by rating how well each one satisfies the selection criteria. The two tools differ in the following ways:
    • Pugh matrix:
      • Compares how well each alternative proposal matches the baseline proposal, for each of the selection criteria
      • Penalizes an alternative that is worse than the baseline for a particular selection criterion by an amount equal to the importance rating of the selection criterion; no distinction exists for being slightly worse versus dramatically worse
      • Rewards an alternative that is better than the baseline for a particular selection criterion by an amount equal to the importance rating of the selection criterion; no distinction exists for being slightly better versus dramatically better
      • Can be easier and more consistent to use when the number of proposals and selection criteria is large because each alternative proposal is compared to the same baseline
    • Solution desirability matrix:
      • Rates all proposals directly on how well they match the selection criteria
      • Can provide a more realistic rating of the proposals because each proposal is rated directly on how well it matches the selection criteria, which creates much higher scores for better proposals
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