Matrix Diagrams are an excellent device for encouraging methodical exploration of all of the potential ways that one set of things can influence another, for instance all of the potential ways that your operating processes can influence (and ensure) your organisational objectives.
Essentially the Matrix Diagram is a grid, with the rows as the intended outcomes (e.g. objectives) and the columns the respective levers to achieve those outcomes. Each intersection can be as simple as a symbol to indicate the strength of impact, or as involved as a collection of ideas to fulfil that impact.
By exposing all of the potential interactions for consideration or scrutiny, the matrix diagram helps to encourage more rigorous consideration of potential issues and/or opportunities. For instance, it can help to increase synergy and leverage unutilised relationships. Furthermore, the grid-layout is easy to replicate in a way which spreads out the ‘exploration’ and enables multi-channel participation in your meetings (see The concept of a multi-channel approach
The matrix diagram forms the basis for a more advanced design tool which goes by the name QFD (Quality Function Deployment – literally the deployment of quality outcomes into functions). As a tool for organisation design, QFD has few equals, not simply because of the rigour of the thinking it facilitates, but also because of its potential to draw more people into the discussion to take ownership for the outcomes.
The following links provide more information on the tool
You can download a PowerPoint template of the tool below.
The template can be printed off (at any size) for use in Physical meetings, or uploaded to suitable meeting or collaboration software so that it can be used in virtual or asynchronous meetings.
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