What are we going to see in this article?
- Definition of GUT Matrix
- Essential Concepts about the GUT Matrix
- How to create a GUT Matrix
- Example of Practical Application of a GUT Matrix
- 10 Reasons to use the GUT Matrix
- More GUT Matrix aplications
All about Quality Management
What is it: A GUT Matrix it's a problem-solving prioritization helping tool. The matrix is used to classify each problem that you think is pertinent to your company from the gravity (of the problem), urgency (of solving it) and tendency (of it to worsen quickly or slowly) point of view.
Why do it and what to use: With a GUT Matrix you can have assistance in strategy, strategic planning or even applying along with tools like SWOT analysis , Pareto Diagram, Ishikawa diagram ou PDCA Cycle . We indicate the use of a Problem-Prioritization Worksheet (GUT Matrix) , because doing so you can have your results automated.
There is not much mystery when it comes to the GUT matrix. The essential concepts of this management tool go through the understanding of 3 problem classification attributes. Let's see each one of them:
It is analyzed by the consideration of the intensity or impact that the problem can cause if it is not solved. Such damages can be assessed quantitatively or qualitatively. A serious problem can lead to bankruptcy of your company, loss of important customers or even damage the public image of the organization. The severity score varies from 1 to 5 by the following criteria:
- not severe
- little severe
- very much severe
- extremely severe
It is analyzed by the pressure of time that exists to resolve a given situation. It basically takes into account the time frame to solve a given problem. It can be considered as urgent problems deadlines defined by law or the response time for customers. The urgency score ranges from 1 to 5 according to the following criteria:
- it can wait
- not very urgent
- urgent, it deserves attention in the short term.
- very urgent
- needs immediate action
It is analyzed by the pattern or trend of the situation evolution. You can analyze problems, considering the development that it will have in the absence of an effective action to solve it. It represents the growth potential of the problem, the probability of the problem become larger over time.
- will not change
- will worsen in the long term
- will worsen in the medium term
- will worsen in the short term
- will worsen quickly
Now that we understand the concept of the classification attributes of the GUT matrix, we can see the step by step to assemble yours. This is an exercise in understanding what your main problems are and, therefore, we need to establish a step by step so that this process is organized and gives you the results you expect:
Step 1 - List your problems
Step 2 - Rate your problems for each of the 3 variables (Severity, Urgency and Tendency)
Step 3 - Rank your main problems (multiplying the 3 notes)
Step 4 - Analyze where your weaknesses are (ranking major issues)
Step 5 - Develop action plans with deadlines and responsible to solve or reduce problems
Let's see a practical example of using the GUT Matrix by following our step-by-step instructions. Assuming our company produces computer pieces:
Step 1 - Some of the problems we face are the difficulty of delivering orders to our customers. In addition, because we are facing a difficult financial situation, we do not pay our suppliers. Regarding the internal practices, were identified problems with the system update, usage of the electronic point and a weak production process. And last but not least, some equipments are scrapped due to lack of mantainance and the purchase of material for the stock is not always done correctly.
Now that we have given the problem situation, simply list each of the items in a spreadsheet, according to the example below of our problem prioritization worksheet (GUT Matrix) 3.0:
Step 2 - With the problems listed, classify them from 1 to 5 to each one of their attributes. In our example, the improvement of the production process problem received 5 note for the 3 items. Therefore, it has been considered an extremely serious problem, which needs to be resolved immediately and has a high tendency to worsen.
Step 3 - Because he got 5 for each one of the problems, by multiplying 5 x 5 x 5, his score is 125
Step 4 - Making the same process for all of the problems and sorting them in descending order, we have a ranking of the worst problems that the company faces, as you can see in the image below:
Step 5 - Now that you know what is essential you can think of action plans with deadlines and responsible. Thus, we could define that for problem 1 we would organize 3 action plans:
- Review process mapping and optimize use of current machines - Deadline: 7 days - Responsible: Maria (Process Area)
- Training for machines and equipment usage - Deadline: 30 days - Person in charge: Joana (Area of Human Resources)
- Buy new machines and equipment - Deadline: 90 days - Manager: Jonas (Purchasing Area)
In this way we can identify the problems, classify them and set priorities with tangible actions to solve.
- The GUT matrix improves your strategic decision-making
- It makes it easier to allocate resources to the most important issues that can cause major damage to your business.
- Support tool for strategic planning
- Simple implementation
- Can be used by any company or industry
- Matrix format makes it easy to fill and display GUT attributes
- Allows a problem solving priorization in an assertive way
- Focus on the decrease of serious problems
- It can also be applied to your personal reality
- It is a tool that can be used together with other tools such as Pareto or Cause and Effect (Ishikawa)
If you are interested in this strategic tool you need to know our Problem-Prioritization Worksheet (GUT Matrix).