A PICK Chart is a very effective Lean Six Sigma tool useful tin categorizing process improvement ideas during an LSS event. The purpose is to help identify the most useful ideas. The 2×2 grid is drawn on a white board or large flip-chart. Ideas on sticky notes by team members are then place on the grid based on the payoff and difficulty level. The acronym comes from the labels for each of the quadrants of the grid. Possible (easy, low payoff), Implement (easy, high payoff), Challenge (hard, high payoff), and Kill (hard, low payoff).
Using a PICK Chart template
When using a PICK chart, the team members should remember that the purpose is to help identify the most useful ideas, especially those that can accomplish immediately with little difficulty (called “Just-Do-Its”).
An electronic record is created either after the meeting or during the meeting. When drawing the PICK Chart, draw the 2×2 grid and write the labels on the axes.
Write “Just Do It” in the Implement quadrant, but you may want to avoid writing the names of the other quadrants because people may have a hard time categorizing something as hard and low payoff if they see the “Kill” label on the chart.
Keep it simple. If the team decides that it is important that an idea to rank as ‘extremely hard’ or ‘very high payoff’, you can make a note of that or place it along a quadrant accordingly, but try to encourage team members to think of the chart as only 4 choices. Ranking the ideas along a continuous scale is a waste of time since the relative ranking is not on the record and analytical people tend to argue too much about where exactly along the scale an item belongs.
Don’t put an idea on a line between two quadrants. That just encourages the team to avoid making decisions. Discussion is good, but if it is taking too long, encourage the team to just pick a category and make a note to return to the discussion later if there is time.
PICK chart example
This PICK chart spreadsheet is use to create an electronic record of how the process improvement ideas are categorize during an Lean Six Sigma event. When recording the ideas in the spreadsheet, just list them below the chart in the respective categories.
This is an Action Item List template with columns for entering the Value and Difficulty. The PICK column will update automatically based on your choices.
- Possible – ideas that are easy to implement but have a low payoff.
- Implement – ideas that are easy to implement and a high payoff.
- Challenge – ideas that are hard to implement and difficult to determine payoff.
- Kill – ideas that are hard to implement and have low payoff.
Once each idea from the brainstorming session is implement on the most appropriate square. It becomes easier to identify which ideas should act on first. In a group setting, PICK charts are useful for focusing discussion and achieving consensus.
Although PICK charts are often link with the Six Sigma management philosophy. They are originally develop by Lockheed Martin for lean production. Today, PICK charts are in many disciplines outside manufacturing including education, marketing and agile software development.