Dependencies are presented graphically in the form of a matrix, on which it is marked whether the analyzed elements are related to each other and what is the strength and type of this relationship. When selecting the elements of the diagram, different techniques are used, most often it is brainstorming.
Creating a matrix diagram
Stages of creating a matrix diagram:
- grouping of elements for which we intend to investigate connections,
- choosing the shape of the diagram,
- appropriate distribution of selected elements in the matrix,
- determination of mutual dependencies between given factors,
- determining the dependence power (graphic symbols have equivalents in numerical values).
The most commonly used graphic characters defining the strength of a relationship are:
♦, +, ↑ - strong dependence
▲, O, → - medium dependence
■, -, ↓ - weak dependence
If the relationship does not exist, leave the field empty.
Models of the matrix
The matrix type is chosen due to the number of groups of factors and the type of relationships / dependencies that occur between them. There are different models of diagrams, they are marked with the letters: L, T, Y, X, C.
This is a basic model, it is used most often. It is used to examine the relationship between two groups of elements. These elements are entered in the columns and rows of the diagram, respectively.
It is used to analyze three groups of factors in which relations occur only in pairs.
It is used to study the correlation between three groups of elements. In this case, each group is compared to each.
This model is used when there are four groups of elements. It is possible in this case to study the dependence of one group with two others.
Thanks to it, you can examine the connections of three groups of factors at the same time.
The matrix diagram is often used in the QFD method. is most often used when designing quality tables. In QFD, the main goal is to flow market information to the company, and this is achieved by translating the consumer language into a technical language. Therefore, two groups of factors are distinguished: customer requirements and technical parameters of the product. Then, the dependencies between them are determined and graphically the strength of the relationship. The diagram in the QFD method, due to its shape, is called the Quality House and is a very extensive tool.
7 new quality management tools
A matrix diagram is one of the so-called seven new quality management tools. Up to 7 new tools include:
- Relationship diagram,
- Systematic diagram,
- Matrix diagram,
- Matrix data analysis,
- Chart of the decision program,
- Arrow diagram.
A specific feature for new management tools is that collected data does not have to be numeric data. For the analysis mainly spoken data is collected. Thanks to this approach, the possibilities of applications are increasing. These methods can be used, for example, during forecasting, surveys of consumer preferences, etc.
Examples of Matrix diagram
- A matrix diagram can be used to show the relationship between customer requirements and product parameters when developing a new product. For example, a company may list customer requirements such as delivery time, cost, and quality, and then list product parameters such as design, materials, and manufacturing process. The matrix diagram will then show how each customer requirement relates to each product parameter.
- Another example of a matrix diagram is a customer satisfaction matrix. This type of diagram is used to measure customer satisfaction with a product or service. The matrix will list customer requirements such as speed, quality, and reliability, and then list customer feedback such as customer complaints, customer feedback surveys, and focus group results. The matrix will then show how customer satisfaction with each requirement varies depending on customer feedback.
- A matrix diagram can also be used to show the relationship between customer requirements and product features. For example, a company may list customer requirements such as user-friendliness and affordability, and then list product features such as user interface, performance, and cost. The matrix diagram will then show how each customer requirement relates to each product feature.
Advantages of Matrix diagram
Matrix diagram is a useful tool for visually presenting the relationship between customer requirements and product parameters. The main advantages of this method are:
- Clear understanding of product parameters and customer requirements – Matrix diagram allows for a clear understanding of customer requirements and product parameters and how they are linked.
- Easy to use – Matrix diagram is a simple and straightforward tool that is easy to use and understand.
- Easy to modify – Matrix diagram can be easily modified as customer requirements and product parameters change.
- Visual representation – Matrix diagram provides a visual representation of customer requirements and product parameters that can be easily interpreted.
- Cost effective – Matrix diagram is a cost effective way of understanding customer requirements and product parameters.
Limitations of Matrix diagram
Matrix diagrams can be a useful tool for visualizing customer requirements and product parameters but there are certain limitations to consider when using this type of diagram. These limitations include:
- Limited ability to compare multiple sets of data: Matrix diagrams are limited in their ability to compare multiple sets of data, as they typically contain only two sets of data points.
- Can be difficult to interpret: Matrix diagrams can be difficult to interpret and understand, as they contain a lot of information in a small space.
- Not suitable for complex data sets: Matrix diagrams are not suitable for complex data sets as they are limited in their capacity to display multiple relationships between data points.
- Requires data to be in an organized format: Matrix diagrams require the data to be in an organized format, making it difficult to use with unstructured data.
Other approaches related to Matrix diagram are the following:
- Fishbone diagram - also known as the cause and effect diagram. It is used to identify the potential causes of a problem, and to determine the root cause.
- Flowchart - it is used to visually represent the flow of data and information through a system, and it can help to identify problems in the system.
- Gantt chart - it is used to plan and track the progress of a project, and to identify areas where the project is behind schedule.
- Pareto chart - it is used to identify and prioritize the most important factors in a problem or issue.
- Value stream mapping - it is used to identify and analyze the steps involved in a process, and to identify opportunities for improvement.
In conclusion, Matrix diagram is a useful tool for showing the relationship between customer requirements and product parameters. Other approaches, such as Fishbone diagram, Flowchart, Gantt chart, Pareto chart and Value stream mapping can also be used to identify and analyze problems, plan projects, and prioritize factors.
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