The CTQ Tree (Critical to Quality Tree) is all about what needs to be measured to drive improvement in the eyes of the customer. Our customers come in three categories with the first being the external customer, the second is the internal customer, and the third is the vendors who provide the goods and services that fuel our supply chain.
During the define phase of the DMAIC improvement process we study our customer requirements.
These are the multiple voices of the customer and the requirements we must define.
The CTQ Tree provides a graphic to tie the progression of the requirements together. The progression starts with the Want or Need, which leads to the Drivers within the Process we must control, and then to the Critical to Quality Characteristics (CTQs) that we measure to control the Drivers.
Once we know what to measure we must define what means good or bad, which is also called the specification. Typically our multiple levels of customers let us know what they want or need, but rarely do they define the CTQs and the specifications.
In the measure phase of DMAIC we will measure our current state performance to establish the baseline. We measure our improvements from this baseline. The CTQ Tree not only defines what to measure but also whether or not the performance is good or bad.
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