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What is a Pugh Matrix?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 165564 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Requirements Analysis (BABOK KA)


The Pugh Matrix is a criteria-based decision matrix which uses criteria scoring to determine which of several potential solutions or alternatives should be selected.  The technique gets its name from Stuart Pugh and has become a standard part of Six Sigma methodology.  It is typically used after the development of the VOC (Voice of the Customer) and after the creation of a QFD (Quality Function Design).

The Pugh Matrix may be know by a number of other names, including:

  • Decision matrix/grid
  • Selection matrix/grid
  • Problem matrix
  • Opportunity analysis
  • Criteria rating form
  • Criteria-based matrix

The Pugh Matrix

  • Allows the analyst to organize various criteria (or features) of a solution in a structured way for easy comparison
  • Facilitates a team-based process for disciplined concept generation and selection
  • Allows the analyst to develop a optimal solution which is a hybrid of other strong solutions

Sample Pugh Matrix

What is a Pugh Matrix?

The steps for creating a Pugh Matrix are as follows:

  • Identify relevant user requirement or criteria.  The example shows very generic criteria. A read life example would be more specific.
  • Develop weights for each of the requirements.  This is optional for weighting the scores.  Various weighting strategies can be used.
  • Generate several viable alternatives for a solution.
  • Select one of the alternatives as a baseline. This is often a current state solution.
  • Evaluate each alternative against the baseline scoring it as positive, negative or equal in meeting the criteria.
  • Total the values from each alternative, multiplying each value by its weight if the optional scoring mechanism was used. (See step 2).
  • Combine the best elements of each alternative to create an optimal hybrid solution.

Chris Adams
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