In this paper, we review two common measurement system indices and a common process capability index. With some simple plots, it will be shown that the traditional guidelines for these measurement system indices can often misdirect improvement efforts. By taking advantage of the relationship between the measurement system indices and the process capability index, two-dimensional guidelines that can be used as an alternative to the traditional guidelines are developed. These two-dimensional guidelines are intended to help address adequacy of the measurement system and better direct improvement efforts to where there will be the most benefit. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.