Quadrant Charts - Illuminating Management

Do your reporting systems cut right to the heart of what is important? Do they emphasise simply and succinctly what is being done about issues in performance? Do they enable you at a glance to differentiate between competent management and candidates for remedial attention?
Or do they obscure the real issues behind rhetoric and relationships? De-emphasising areas of vulnerability? Hiding a lack of objective analysis in a mass of opinion and spurious inferences?
Quadrant charts provide a simple, single page, method of ensuring your reporting systems focus directly on what is important, and make explicit the quality of management being applied. They are essentially a sheet of A4 (Quarto) paper split into four quadrants.

In the top left-hand quadrant the chart displays the key performance measures for the area (department, process, section...), the target to be achieved, and the current level of performance.

In the top right-hand quadrant, it graphs the performance measures and trend against forecast performance and target for the year to date, and thereby illustrates any issues in the pattern of performance over time.

In the bottom left-hand quadrant, it provides a summary of the analysis that has been undertaken into any performance issues - whether overall performance or adverse trends.

And in the bottom right-hand quadrant, it summarises the actions that have been planned to address the issues and bring the performance back into control.

The quadrant chart demonstrates clearly in a format that is straightforward, logical and easy to assimilate, what is being managed and what is not - it reports the basics clearly and provides little scope for hiding issues in a mass of rhetoric. And a quadrant chart is quick and easy to produce - providing the area really is being managed systematically.
To learn more about quadrant charts, read Chapter 24 of Managing by Design

 

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