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Ranking Importance and Uncertainties & Actual Matrix Development

Categories: Conversation, General, The Matrix
Date: 23 July 2008

The Matrix / Quadrants

The “matrix” presented for consideration is a tool for identifying and ranking issues/things by importance and uncertainty. It is input to produce the two issues that will become the axes of a final matrix in which the final scenarios are developed.

Hopefully the two issues selected will be able to be each expressed as lines of continuity with polar opposite positions at the end of these lines. Hopefully when the two issues are combined they set up as a real matrix that offers enough space to develop really good scenarios and really can express as a true matrix. If this is achieved we have an “Orthogonal” matrix – we aim for “Orthogonality”. This is really important because if we can’t achieve that, then none of the scenarios created will quite work, and there will not be enough of a sense of perceived distance or difference in the quadrants or the developed scenario – and the output will be weak.

As matrix-based scenario planning is usually set up to highlight, explore and work with uncertainties, issues with the highest uncertainties and the highest importance (or the most important drivers) should in the end be the only candidates to be placed in the final matrix – and even then they should only be there if othogonality can be achieved. This is not to say that a lot of other issues will be discarded. Indeed a lot of the issues whatever their uncertainty or importance ranking will be incorporated into the actual scenarios i.e. mentioned in the actual stories.
So using this approach – and this is the thinking behind the Shell/GBN approach and most derivatives of it, let’s do some ranking of the Most Important and Most Uncertain Issues. I have put down a list of issues, questions and events that are in no particular order and of course they should be debated by team as to their certainty and importance..

Most Important & Most Uncertain

Some musings that I hope will be useful input to the next stage of the Project..