Matrix Diagram Magic
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Matrix Diagram Magic

Matrix diagrams are one of the most common tools in Six Sigma. Once you learn how one works, you know how to use all of the others!

“Hi, this is Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software.]

“One of the tools that I think people don’t think about too much are Matrix Diagrams. A matrix diagram is essentially anything divided up into rows and columns. Now, these can be as simple as an action plan, it might be how you put all your countermeasures and prioritize them, so there might be some column for prioritizing things in some sort of fashion. So we might come up with “Feasibility” and “Effectiveness,” and we might rate it from 1 to 5 so we might have numbers that go in there, we might have words that go in here, and these things then can be become things like Failure Modes and Effects Analysis – that’s another type of matrix diagram. This can also be your Voice of the Customer or it could be the House of Quality, right? We can put a house on top of this…

“So very quickly you discover that these kinds of matrix diagrams come in all shapes, sizes and forms, [such as] SIPOC diagrams. A lot of things are essentially the same tool, only with different configurations. Once you understand this and you start to understand that every matrix is helping you organize your information – chunking it into things that you can actually work on and determine maybe which things are most important and which things are least important. You can do everything from simple things like action plans all the way up to FMEAs and QFD and everything else if you understand the basics of a matrix diagram.

“That’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Let’s go out and improve something.”

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