Pugh Matrix

Pugh Matrix

Pugh Matrix is a scoring method used to compare and select the best solution from an option set. It helps determine which potential solutions are of much value compared to others, and allow comparing different concepts, processes, products or services based on customer requirements, design parameters or project goals. One benefit of the Pugh Matrix technique is that it does not require a great amount of quantitative data. Another benefit is that subjective opinions about one alternative versus another can be made more objective.

The Pugh matrix (sometimes referred to as the Decision Matrix) is primarily used when making design decisions during the product development cycle. It could also be used when designing or redesigning service processes to achieve faster, more convenient and more efficient performance. It is also often used to rank investment decision, vendor selection, and improvement project selection.

A basic Pugh Matrix consists of a set of criteria options and the alternative solutions under consideration. The more important the criteria, the higher the weighting it could be given. Solutions are evaluated against the current solution that is already established, or against a chosen standard or benchmark. The selection of the best solution is then made based on the consolidated scores. Further solutions can then be developed by mixing the positive aspects of a number of solutions.

How to Create a Pugh Matrix:

  • Prepare the list of solutions and identify relevant criteria.
  • Weight the criteria with your team.
  • Select the baseline solution that will be used as a standard for comparison.
  • Score each alternative solution against the baseline (‘+’ means better than baseline, ‘-‘ means worse than baseline, and ‘0’ means about the same).
  • Notice the strongest solutions (the alternatives with the most pluses and the fewest minuses).
  • Look for opportunities to combine the best aspects of different solutions.


The following presents an example of a Pugh Matrix that was created to select the best concept from among three alternatives.