Confrontation Matrix

Most people have heard of or done a SWOT analysis (i.e., identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). The next step after the SWOT, which is not always done, is to complete a confrontation matrix. To build the confrontation matrix you:

1.Define your top S, W, O, & T (typically top 3 or 4)

2.Assign, individually, to each cell a score between -3 and +3

  • Tip 1: Adding a color helps
  • Tip 2: Use the full range of -3 to +3 (incl. extreme scores)
  • Tip 3: (-) & (+) indicate whether there is a positive or negative relationship between a given strength (or weakness) and a given threat (or opportunity)
  • Tip 4: Assign a score of 0 to a cell if the internal strengths and weaknesses are unrelated to the external opportunities and threats

3.Compute the average and standard deviations across team members

Confrontation matrix image 1

4.Discuss scores with a high standard deviation and update after reaching team consensus (debate helps to clear misunderstandings or converge on a score that the team agrees on)

5.Compute the totals (i.e., sum) per column and row

Having computed the totals you are now ready to draw conclusions by looking at the highest positive and negative scores.

For example, innovation pitches we ask teams to write down 3 reasons why you are the company to bring this innovation to market (i.e., fit between strengths and opportunities) and 3 main obstacles and how you will overcome those (interaction between threats and weaknesses).

You can also draw conclusions on strengths you should leverage or specific weaknesses you need to mitigate (i.e., those with highest scores across columns).

Overall, the confrontation matrix is a great tool to go beyond the typical SWOT analysis, achieve team consensus, and draw actionable conclusions.

Confrontation matrix image 2

Below you can download a simple excel that allows team members to fill in their scores (up to 8 in this excel) and automatically calculates the standard deviations and averages.

Download the Confrontation Matrix tool

MTI2 Tool Confrontation Matrix download image