What is CTQ in Six Sigma?

Let’s begin with breaking the abbreviation, CTQ stands for Critical To Quality. CTQ in Six Sigma is important for improving the customer experience. CTQs are the parameters that define the requirements of the customers. It plays a very important role in developing a product or a service.

What is the CTQ definition in Six Sigma?

In Six Sigma and other projects, CTQ plays an important role in creating the purpose of many projects and services that satisfies the customers on the various parameters. Six Sigma Courses for the professionals are going to help in their career which will enable them to enhance their career growth and prospects. Two factors affect its growth changes During the production development of products or services. The first is Critical To Process(CTP) and the second is Critical To Quality(CTQ).

The Critical To Process(CTP) concept is an essential part of the CTQ Six Sigma projects. considering the process related to customers’ needs is the most important factor in the development of CTP study. the performance level of CTP should be in such a manner that it should meet the requirements of the customer. CTQ tree is used to determine, identify, and list out all the customers’ requirements into measurable operations.

What is CTQ?

Critical to Process (CTP) are the key components of input variables. They are the process parameters that influence other critical approaches and those are CTQ(Critical To Quality) and CTD (Critical To Delivery) and Critical To Cost (CTC).

CTQ in Six Sigma

Below mentioned are the steps to create a CTQ tree:

  • Identify the voice of the customer.
  • Understand customer requirement parameters.
  • Prioritize the requirements.
  • Convert the customer requirements into CTQs that are measurable.

Let’s explain every step with the proper explanation and examine the characteristics of the CTQ tree.

Identify the voice of the customer

The first and primary step behind the CTQ parameters is retrieving the VOCs and VOBs as they are the founding stones of the CTQs. There are lots of ways like surveys. Focus groups, Complaint forms, and direct interactions through which VOC can be collected from all of the segments of potential customers.

Understanding customer requirements

VOCs collected could be very basic or naïve. It needs careful business insights that have to be converted into the requirements. The expert group should thoroughly go through VOCs and identify their requirements according to the parameters. for example, let us assume a company is planning to provide customer service support and they have collected VOC of the customers. one of the VOCs of the customer is “it takes a too long time to get my issues resolved.” And the customer is looking for better support with quicker resolution.

Prioritize the Requirements

As we understand, the prioritization will not reflect anywhere in the CTQ tree but this is an important step. not all customer requirements hold equal importance in the eyes of the customers. there are some “Must Have” features and “Pleased to have” features. The KANO model is aptly implemented here if someone is diligent enough to perform so.

Convert Requirements into CTQs

Here is the core part of the activity. now there will be confusion, What is CTQ drill down? it is collected from the customers’ requirements and every parameter should be drilled down into the measurable business parameters. the team should do this exercise collectively with everyone and based on this target, the CTQ will be determined which will surely act as a guideline for the performance of the team.

CTQ tree is a little bit complicated to build, but once created it helps to achieve the targets within a specific period of time with the proper approach.

Characteristics of CTQ

When we talk about Critical To Quality in any session, we give the example of bottled drinking water. Let’s say, you are going to buy some water because you are thirsty. What are the characteristics that will influence your purchase? In a simple water bottle, two things will influence your decision. The first is a bottle and the second is water. If you are a customer, what characteristics should water have to influence your decision?

  • It must be clean.
  • No foreign particles
  • Odorless
  • No chemicals
  • No viruses and germs
  • It should come from natural sources.

These kinds of factors affect the decision of the buyer and management should consider these kinds of factors to boost sales and quality.


Most of the time, the potential customer impacts the increase in product or service with the non-functional products or services which delays in delivery time and the cost of product or service. CTQ tree increases the process efficiency and further increases the productivity of the team that works upon the single agenda of providing quality to the customers. CTQ fundamentals include the quality metrics and standards to raise the customer’s satisfaction.

If you want to learn more about CTQ and enter the quality management domain, you can enroll yourself at MindCypress. The learning and upskilling platform offers Lean Six Sigma courses to help professionals perform their roles efficiently.