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A Toolbook for Quality Improvement and Problem Solving (contents)

Matrix Diagram: Examples

The Quality Toolbook > Matrix Diagram > Examples

When to use it | How to understand it | Example | How to use it | Practical variations


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A personnel department wanted to improve social activity within the company in order to increase loyalty levels. A theory was put forwards that soft-skills training contributed significantly towards this in-house socializing. The personnel manager consequently decided to use a Matrix Diagram to investigate this. The steps taken were:

  • Objective: Investigate effect of soft-skills training on social activity.
  • Matrix: T-matrix, with people on main stem, in-house training courses to left, attendance of social clubs to right, plus an extra column for years of service.
  • Comparison: In-house training - tick for attendance within last three years; social clubs - three bands corresponding to under 30%, 30% to 70% and over 70% attendance in the same period.

The resultant matrix, as shown below showed that people with higher levels of social training also tended to be more committed members of social clubs. It was also noticed that there seemed to be a particular increase in commitment after going on the team-building course. The length of service showed no particular pattern.



Fig. 1. Building the example Matrix Diagram

As a result, the training was expanded, and people were given more encouragement to attend (particularly the team-building course). This resulted in a steady increase in social activity and a reduction in attrition rates.

Other examples

  • A product test team use an L-matrix to determine test effectiveness by comparing discovered defect types with named tests.
  • An L-matrix is used by a marketing group to generate and validate a set of sales tools that covers all target market sectors.
  • A project manager uses a T-matrix in planning, with tasks down the main stem, then resources and responsibilities for the two side lists. Everything required for one task can then be seen on one line, and reallocation then done to balance the schedule.



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