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What is a 2x2 Matrix?

The 2x2 Matrix is a decision support technique where the team plots options on a two-by-two matrix. Known also as a four blocker or magic quadrant, the matrix diagram is a simple square divided into four equal quadrants. Each axis represents a decision criterion, such as cost or effort. Each axis is divided into two sections (example: low cost/high cost and easy/difficult). The matrix is drawn on a whiteboard, then the team plots the options along the axes. This makes it easy to visualize the options that are low cost and easy, and low cost and hard, for example. The best results happen when the team defines the boundary between the quadrants. For example, if the horizontal axis represents the time it would take to complete a project, the boundary line between the Fast and Slow quadrants might be defined as 4 weeks.

Popular 2x2 matrix categories include: Cost and Value, Importance and Urgency (the Eisenhower Box), Time and Money, Effort and Impact, Taste (Great) and Satiety (Less Filling).

The 2x2 format is also used for exercises that collect input in four distinct categories, the most famous of which is the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis.

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Related Glossary Terms
SWOT Analysis

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