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Control-Impact Matrix

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Control Impact Matrix is a 2x2 prioritization matrix tool which if most often used in the Analyze phase of a DMAIC project. It helps prioritize the causes into 4 quadrants
1. High Control High Impact (HCHI)
2. High Control Low Impact (HCLI)
3. Low Control High Impact (LCHI)
4. Low Control Low Impact (LCLI)
Causes in the High Control High Impact quadrant are prioritized for solutioning.


An application-oriented question on the topic along with responses can be seen below. The best answer was provided by Glory Gerald and Natwar Lal. Congratulations to both.


Q 318. Explain Control and Impact Matrix and its usage in DMAIC project. Do you think this matrix should be used for evaluating root causes (Analyze Phase) or is it better suited for assessing solution alternatives (Improve Phase)?



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Control Impact Matrix is a 2D tool which helps in comparing items against two parameters

1. Control that we have over the items

2. Impact (expected) that the item could have on solving the problem




In a DMAIC project, this tool is primarily used in Analyze phase for prioritizing the causes that can be focused on. Typically the priority order is as follows

1. Causes in High Control High Impact

2. Causes in High Control Low Impact

3. Causes in Low Control High Impact

4. Causes in Low Control Low Impact


There is debate on the order of points 2 and 3. However, I feel point 2 should have higher priority wrt to point 3.


It may also be used in Improve phase to prioritize for solutions however, there is another matrix tool that is more suitable for this purpose. We could use an Effort Impact Matrix for solution prioritization. Therefore, I feel that Control Impact matrix is better suited for Analyze phase.

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Control Impact Matrix is a prioritization tool that is generally used after the causes are captured using Cause and Effect tools. Here prioritization is done based on the causes that may be in our control and the impact of the respective causes on the problem or the effect.


Control Impact Matrix in a Six Sigma DMAIC Process

Below points explains when to use Control Impact Matrix in a Six Sigma DMAIC Process:

  • To prioritize between various options/ solutions/ issues.
  • It is drafted post cause and effect analysis.
  • Prior to hypothesis testing in Analyze phase ( DMAIC), verified with data as well.
  • Prior to solution implementation plan.
  • At the distillation stage of issues/ causes.
  • Helps gains consensus on which ones are priority.

The other variant to Control Impact Matrix is Cost Benefit Matrix/Effort Benefit Matrix that is generally a 2 by 2 matrix which is used in Improve Phase to assess the solution alternatives.


Below is an example of Control Impact Matrix:



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Both Natwar and Glory have provided the correct explanation and usage of the tool. Both have also highlighted the Effort Impact Matrix tool that is more often used in Improve phase for solution evaluation. Hence both are joint winners for this question. Well done!

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