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Measures Matrix Chart: A Holistic Approach to Understanding Operations

Summary: In the past, when identifying critical business measures, improvements have focused on changing and tracking a single measure. While this may produce good short-term results, it does not account for the entire operation. Understanding the relationships between measures is crucial in order to manage change effectively. The measures matrix (M2) chart was developed to emphasize those relationships and assist in uncovering the drivers of change. Within the benchmarking process, this analysis tool has been very effective in focusing change on the practices and behavior that impact the measures.The M2 chart consists of a set of concentric circles ranging from the innermost circle, which has a value of 1.0, to the outermost circle, which has a value of 0.0. The benchmark for each measure will be placed on the circle labeled 1.0. Formulas have been provided in order to normalize all the measures so the resultant values range from 1.0 to 0.0. The better an operation's performance, the closer the resultant data points get to the center of the chart.The corporate benchmarking office at Eastman Kodak Company has been plotting and using the m2 chart with great success. Those with no knowledge of benchmarking or data analysis techniques are able to interpret the charts after only a few minutes of explanation. Thus, meaningful conclusions about operations can be drawn from a systemic approach.Experience has shown that the M2 charts are particularly effective in transforming presentations with lengthy explanation using many tables and charts into presentations with only a single graphic, saving time and allowing discussions to focus on the entire operation. Thus, the focus shifts from an operation's strengths and weaknesses to identifying improvement opportunities and tracking progress toward meeting goals.

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  • Topics: Benchmarking, Data Quality
  • Keywords: Analysis,Benchmarking,Data collection,Gap analysis,Traceability,Training and presentation techniques,Control charts,Systems,Holism
  • Author: Madigan, James M.
  • Journal: Quality Management Journal