Seven Management and Planning Tools

Seven Management and Planning Tools

Seven Management and Planning Tools are a set of tools and techniques used to help effectively plan and manage various types of business operations. These tools are intended to guide you in the planning, analysis, and decision making processes.

These tools were developed independently by different people for diverse purposes. However, they were assembled as a set of methods in order to achieve efficiencies in the planning and management of operations.

The Seven Management and Planning tools are:

  1. The Affinity Diagram
  2. The Tree Diagram
  3. The Interrelationship Diagram
  4. The Matrix Diagram
  5. Prioritization Matrices
  6. The Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC)
  7. The Activity Network Diagram


About The Seven Management And Planning Tools

The seven management and planning tools are collectively used by organizations to make better decisions and implement new solutions effectively. When used as individually, these tools provide a systematic and organized way of assessing ideas and making decisions. However, when used in combination with each other, they provide an extremely effective way to systematically solve complex issues an organization may face.


The Seven Management and Planning Tools

Affinity Diagram

An Affinity Diagram is a tool used for organizing a large amounts of disorganized information into groups based on their natural relationships and affinity (similarity of characteristics). It is often used for solving problems with issues that seem to be very complex and difficult to manage.

An Affinity Diagram is a type of brainstorming technique that allows you to generate, organize, and consolidate information concerning complex processes, issues, or problems.


Tree Diagram

A Tree Diagram (also referred to as a systematic diagram) is a systematic method to outline all the details needed to complete a given objective or process. It is used to break down broad categories or complex processes into minute details allowing you to examine the finer details.

The Tree Diagram is an orderly structure similar to an organization chart or family tree diagram. It helps in understanding a process by graphically breaking down complex processes to smaller levels of detail.

This technique encourages you to direct your thinking from generalities to specifics.


Interrelationship Diagram

An Interrelationship Diagram (also referred to as a relations diagram) identifies and displays all the interrelated cause-and-effect relationships among different concepts or ideas. Basically, it establishes links between ideas or concepts, and shows that they can be logically linked with more than one other idea or concept at a time.

The process of creating an Interrelationship Diagram allows you to systematically identify and analyze the cause-and-effect relationships that exist among all critical issues. This process helps you understand the natural links between different aspects of a complex issue so you can better develop an effective solution.

This technique encourages you to think in multiple directions (lateral thinking) rather than just thinking linearly.


Matrix Diagram

A Matrix Diagram is a tool that shows the connection or correlation between ideas or variables in a table format. It enables you to analyze relatively complex issues by revealing interactions and dependencies between different elements or variables.

The Matrix Diagram graphically establishes relationship between two or more sets of items in such a way as to provide logical connecting points between each item. The diagram displays the strength of relationships using a grid of rows and columns. A relationship is indicated at each intersection of rows and columns as either present or absent.  Thus, allowing you to identify the presence and strengths of relationships between two or more items.


Prioritization Matrices

Prioritization Matrix is a tool that sorts and ranks various options into an order of importance using weighted criteria. This technique helps identify which problems are the most important to work on solving first.

A Prioritization Matrix graphically displays options and criteria in row and column format. Weights are assigned to each criteria. The matrix allows you to identify an item’s relative importance by deriving a numerical value for its priority. This allows you to select and prioritize some options over others.


Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC)

A Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC) is a tool for identifying and documenting the steps required to complete a process. It is intended to help you prepare contingency plans by mapping out every conceivable event that can occur when moving from a problem to possible solutions.

This technique allows you to systematically identify what might go wrong with a plan.  Therefore, you can create appropriate contingency plans to limit risks.


Activity Network Diagram

Activity Network Diagram (also referred to as an Arrow Diagram) is a tool used to map activities and tasks for a project in sequential order. Basically, it graphically depicts a project timeline.

This tool displays interdependent relationships between activities, tasks, and groups as they all impact a project. Boxes and arrows are used to depict these activities and the links between them as well as chart the sequential order of the entire process.



Additional Links

Activity Network Diagram

Interrelationship Diagram

Process Decision Program Chart

Tree Diagram

Affinity Diagram

SWOT Analysis


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