What is CTQ?

CTQ is a concept that is commonly used in Six Sigma. It is an acronym, which stands for ‘critical to quality.’ When it comes to manufacturing and other industries, understanding which aspects of a product are critical to its overall quality. This will help a company determine what features must be there, and which ones may actually be a form of waste. Anyone who is working on becoming Six Sigma certified, or already works in this type of role, will want to take time to understand CTQ and the related concepts.

CTQ Tree

Identifying which features or aspects of a product are CTQ it is important to look at it from a customer perspective. One easy thing to do is ask whether a customer is willing to pay for the feature in question. If they are, then it is likely critical to the quality of the product. Even if a customer likes a specific feature, but won’t pay extra for it, it won’t likely meet the requirements for CTQ. Putting each feature through a ‘CTQ Tree’ is an easy way to analyze the situation. The CTQ tree attempts to take the desires of a customer and make them meaningful, measurable, and actionable.  This can be done in several important steps:

  • Identify the Critical Needs of the Customer
  • Look at the Quality Drivers that Have to be in Place
  • Develop Performance Requirements to Meet the Demands of Customers
  • How Does Each Feature of a Product Fit

A lot of this data can be gathered by speaking with the customers themselves. In some cases this means reaching out to major customers to learn from them. In others, it will mean gathering feedback from a reasonable sample size of the customers. Either way, gathering this data is an important step. From that data, match up all the steps that go into making a product and see which ones can be eliminated or adjusted. In the end, only those features that are CTQ should remain in order to provide the customers with exactly what they need without spending time or money on unnecessary features.

Additional CTQ Facts:

  • CTQ stands for critical to quality, which are the key attributes of a product or service that the customer values and defines as important. CTQs are measurable and quantifiable customer requirements that must be met to satisfy the customer Source: https://www.isixsigma.com/dictionary/critical-to-quality-ctq/
  • CTQs are derived from the voice of the customer (VOC) data, which is collected and prioritized using tools like CTQ tree and Kano analysis. CTQs are used in Six Sigma and other quality improvement methods to monitor and improve the performance of a product or process Source: https://www.isixsigma.com/dictionary/critical-to-quality-ctq/
  • A CTQ tree is a tool that helps translate broad customer needs into specific and measurable performance requirements. A CTQ tree consists of four levels: customer needs, quality drivers, performance requirements, and metrics Source: https://bing.com/search?q=CTQ+facts
  • Customer needs are the general expectations or desires of the customers, such as reliability, durability, or functionality. Quality drivers are the main features or characteristics that influence customer satisfaction, such as speed, accuracy, or safety. Performance requirements are the specific and measurable standards that the product or service must meet to fulfill the quality drivers, such as time, error rate, or temperature. Metrics are the units of measurement that are used to evaluate the performance requirements, such as seconds, percentage, or degrees Source: https://bing.com/search?q=CTQ+facts
  • A CTQ tree can help identify the critical factors that affect the quality of a product or service, and prioritize the improvement efforts based on customer feedback. A CTQ tree can also help communicate the customer requirements to the project team and stakeholders, and align the project goals with the customer expectations Source: https://bing.com/search?q=CTQ+facts

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