Use the Pugh Matrix form to evaluate and rank a list of possible solutions by using weighted criteria.

You can use a Pugh Matrix to compare product designs or process improvements. For example, use your customer requirements as the criteria when you compare a proposed design and the baseline design.

The Pugh Matrix answers the following 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 designs?
  • Which improvement strategy best matches organizational goals?
  • How do alternative improvement proposals compare to the suggested improvement?

How-to

Use this tool as a team exercise.

  1. Create a list of the selection criteria, such as VOC requirements, customer requirements, or organizational improvement goals.
  2. Create a list of the potential improvement solutions or the 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 support from management.
  4. Enter the baseline proposal.
  5. Enter the proposed solutions along the left side of the matrix and the selection criteria across the top of the matrix.
  6. Apply a weighting factor for each selection criteria. Use a scale of 1 to 9 to weight the importance of the selection criteria. Use 1 for the least important criteria and 9 for the most important criteria.
  7. Based on team input, rate how well the baseline proposal matches each of the selection criteria. Use a scale of 1 to 9 to score the baseline. Use 1 for poor matches and 9 for strong 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 = +1
    • Same = 0
    • Worse = −1
  9. Examine the scores for each alternative on the bar chart.

For more information, go to Add and complete a form.

Additional guidelines

The Pugh Matrix is similar to the Solution Desirability Matrix. Both tools help you choose the best proposal from a list of competing proposals. Choose the tool that is best for your application.
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. There is no distinction 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. There is no distinction 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 on how well they match the selection criteria, which creates much higher scores for better proposals.
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