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Having a Look at the Critical to Quality Tree

published on January 9, 2012

Happy New Year! As 2012 unfolds I thought we would look at the Critical to Quality Tree and how it works. The Critical to Quality Tree is a tool that helps visually identify what activities are ‘critical’ to success. With all things critical will mean different things to different industries and organizations, but this post will aim at providing you with a road map to begin your quality journal.

What does the Critical to Quality Tree look like?

The good news is that a Critical to Quality Tree is very easy to construct, here’s a sample.

critical to quality tree progression chartThe needs section is where you identify what you know your organization needs to improve upon. There is no formula for this identification except for the goals you have set for yourself and what your customer feedback has identified.

The drivers section is essentially the solutions to the need that your improvement team has identified. This is where brainstorming and innovation can begin to take root. The purpose of this section is to give your team a concrete roadmap that highlights where they should direct their energy.

The CTQ section is quite simply how you will make those changes. The beauty of a CTQ tree is that is forces you to create concrete and actionable strategies. In effect it creates accountability and focus, all your strategies are now able to be centered on your specific goal identified in the needs section.

What it doesn’t do

The Critical to Quality Tree does not provide automatic solutions and it does not measure process quality. If this is a method that you are thinking about, be aware that you will have to provide the information. What is unique about CTQ is that there are no stats involved, before you get happy understand that this does not make it a light activity. You have to be very specific and you have to know your exact market before you start the activity.

As always, this is not a step by step approach but a general introduction to the tool. It can be very useful and produce a tangible tool for your staff to use in creating and implementing solutions.

published on January 9, 2012

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