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Confrontation matrix

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Rick De Vlieger Rick De Vlieger
13-04-2016 5 mins read

Confrontation matrix creation - The confrontation matrix is a method that you apply after you have made a SWOT analysis. In the SWOT analysis, you have identified the opportunities, threats, strengths, and weaknesses. In the confrontation matrix, you will compare these conclusions with each other. The confrontation matrix is the step between the SWOT analysis and setting up a strategy.

In this article, we provide examples of how to work out a confrontation matrix and explain step by step how to create a confrontation matrix. We also explain how you can draw conclusions from which you can formulate a strategy.

If you are going to make a confrontation matrix, you can start with this empty example:

Confrontatiematrix example empty

Create a confrontation matrix

As you can see in the example above, you put all your opportunities and threats on the horizontal axis. You place the strengths and weaknesses on the vertical axis. Do not put all the conclusions in the matrix, but give each conclusion a number. You can have the matrix filled in by one person, but it becomes stronger if you have this filled in by several Stakeholders. This method is also based on that. Further on, we explain alternative methods if you alone complete the confrontation matrix.

  • If you are going to create a confrontation matrix, you must not forget that the opportunities and threats are external factors that you cannot influence. The internal strengths and weaknesses you can.
  • For each external opportunity and external threat you will give three scores (1, 2 and 3 points. 6 points in total).
  • You look at the first opportunity and see which strength or weakness is the most important here, you give this a 3. The second most important strength or weakness you give a 2. The third best-fitting one 1.
  • You then go to opportunity number 2. You repeat this exercise until you have completed the matrix.

The completed confrontation matrix for one person can look like this:

Confrontation matrix creation Confrontation matrix creation: completed example

Confrontation matrix creation with several people

Chances are that you have made the SWOT analysis with several Stakeholders, for example in a brainstorm. Then it goes without saying that all stakeholders must complete the confrontation matrix. This method is ideal for this. In fact, it only makes the confrontation matrix stronger. You can simply have the different people fill it in and then add up all the scores. Because you have more data you get clearer 'winners'. See below how a completed confrontation matrix can look like if it has been filled in by four people. You do not have six, but 24 points per opportunity or threat:

Confrontation matrix creation Confrontation matrix creation: completed matrix

Confrontation matrix creation: alternative methods

The method where each person can only give 6 points per opportunity or threat is excellent when multiple stakeholders fill in the confrontation matrix. However, the disadvantage is that if only one person completes it, the scores are fairly evenly distributed. There are a few solutions that will make you get clear winners. The first solution is that you take a larger scale. For example, you may give a score that is between 0 and 5, and that you do not hold a maximum number of points per opportunity or threat.

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The second possibility is that you have a weighting factor per opportunity or threat. For this, too, it is wise to have stakeholders determine the weighting factor. Choose here, for example, the most important three, and give it a weighting factor times 4, 3 or 2.

Analyze results from the confrontation matrix

It goes without saying that the strengths and weaknesses with the highest points must be tackled first and converted into actions, or strategy!

  • The threats and weaknesses (the box at the bottom right) with high scores must be eliminated as soon as possible. As a company, you are active somewhere where there are many threats, and you are not very good at it. Perhaps it would be wise not to engage in this at all.
  • You must defend the strengths and threats (top right box) with high scores and ask yourself whether you can use your strengths to eliminate threats.
  • You need to improve the weaknesses and opportunities (box bottom left) with high scores. This requires investment. You have to ask yourself if the investment is worth it.
  • You need to invest in strengths and opportunities (top left box) with high scores to get the most out of it.

In that respect, the analysis of the confrontation matrix is very similar to the BCG Matrix.

Read this article if you want to know more about making a SWOT analysis.

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