Pugh Analysis :: Overview Click here to go to the homepage
What is it?
Pugh Analysis charts are similar to the pros vs. cons lists. These are used for evaluating multiple options against each other, in relation to a baseline option. The method was invented by Stuart Pugh, University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland as an approach for selecting concept alternatives.
Why is it important?
The time it takes a development team to analyze the scores and weighting factors is usually much shorter and cheaper compared to deploying the wrong solution to a project. Ranking the criteria further helps focus the team's efforts on the critical few. 
When to use it?
Rather than simply listing the positive and negative aspects of each option, one by one, a matrix of the needs vs. concepts helps address multiple factors at the same time and gives the team a holistic view of the needs vs. alternatives at hand.


How to use it?
Step by step process:
1 Develop a set of criteria based on customer's wants and needs.
2 Enhance these criteria by including any item of functional nature.
3 Develop a group of design concepts that are aimed at satisfying the criteria.
4 Using a simple matrix - list criteria on the left and the concepts across the top. Use simple sketches to illustrate each of these concepts.
5 Select one of the concepts as a baseline.
6 Evaluate each concept against the datum for each of the criteria. Determine whether it is better (+), the same (0) or worse(-) than the baseline. Alternately, one could assign a -1, 0, +1 based on where each choice would stack up against a set of the agreed-to criteria. We could give each of these criterion a weight and get the composite score of the alternate*criterion to determine the better alternative. Click here for a excel chart.
7 Record the team's decisions on the matrix.
8 For each column, determine the total number of pluses, minuses and sames. Alternately, take the sum of the alternate score multiplied by weight of the criterion.
9 Work to improve those concepts that scored best by incorporating strong ideas from other concepts.
10 Continue the process of synthesizing concepts.
In the Pugh Analysis winners and losers will become visible at an early stage. The fact that one is forced to carry out a reflected evaluation of each parameter for each of the concepts is very important and is useful to prevent later surprises. Even though obvious losers (or winners) may be found at an early stage, the process requires a continuous elaboration to optimize the concepts.
Food for Thought !
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