Lean Management Systems


Quadrant Chart template

Excel template for perceptual map, importance-performance analysis, and other quadrant charts

Quadrant Chart

What is a Quadrant Chart?

Also known as a multi dimensional chart, or a two-dimensional chart

The many types of quadrant charts are all designed to help you
visually understand relationships between two factors affecting an issue.

Bookmark = variations

Types of Quadrant Charts

One of the most versatile tools in your toolkit — there are many variations of the two-dimensional chart.

Here are a few of the more popular ones — and once you get the idea,
you will undoubtedly create a few unique variations of your own!

Effective-Achievable Chart

Vertical Y Axis = Effectiveness of each Alternative
Horizontal X Axis = Achievable

Every Alternative is somewhat effective and achievable, or it wouldn't be on your list.
Ratings should compare the relative merits of each Alternative.

When to use

Quadrant Chart Excel template

Sample Quadrant Chart Example


Your Decision PICK Impact-Effort Matrix (DecisionPICK.xlsx)

Decision PICK Matrix

has even more robust features and specific training for Effective-Achievable analysis, and allows you to easily click a button to switch between:

  1. Impact-Effort PICK Matrix

    the target "best choice" quadrant is the upper left

  2. Effective-Achievable Matrix

    the target "best choice" quadrant is the upper right

Plan-Results Chart


Bad Plan

Not the root cause?
Or not the right approach?


Opportunities to extend your success learning lessons to other projects?



Wrong root cause?
Try same plan again?
Different plan?

You Got Lucky

Analyze measures of process (not just end results), to understand how you got lucky.

  Results not reached Results reached

Vertical Y Axis = Plan

Did we implement our assignments as planned?

Horizontal X Axis = Results

Did we reach the milestones
and harvest the results we expected?

Rating Scale

The scale for Plan might range from

"accomplished nothing" to
"completed everything perfectly as planned"

and for Results might range from

"actually hurt our cause" to
"exceeded expectations"

When to use

Importance-Performance Analysis

Vertical Y Axis = Importance of each Alternative
Horizontal X Axis = Performance

The Importance-Performance Matrix analyzes customers' perceptions
about the importance and performance of deliverable products or services.

Rating Scale

The scale for Importance might range from "not important" to "critical",
and the scale for Performance might range from "consistently unacceptable" to "greatly exceeds expectations"

When to use

Perceptual Map

The Y Axis, X Axis, and Rating Scale can be just about anything that your customers care about

Any axis scale might measure increments from Boring to Fashionable, Conservative to Sporty, Affordable to Distinctive...
ANY scale of ANY perceptions that your customers might have about your offerings.

Tip: With such diverse & unusual scales, it is especially important to edit the text boxes to your chart
so that each end of each axis has its own label.

For example, rather than a single scale of "Social Interactiveness",
you might want one end of the scale to be "Social Appeal" and the other end of the scale to be "Individuality",
thereby further clarifying a nuanced scale that appeals to different types of customers at both ends of the scale.

When to use a marketing perceptual map

Competence-Motivation Chart



What's in it for them?


Block for person carrying the ball, and get out of their way.

Not Competent


Find someone else


What does this person need to succeed?

  Not motivated Motivated

Y Axis = Competence

Does this employee have
the knowledge and skills to do this job?

X Axis = Motivation

Is this person motivated
to perform these responsibilities?

When to use

Other Quadrant Chart Variations

Impact-Control Chart

How much control does your team have over the success of each alternative?

There are dozens or hundreds of different types of two-dimensional charts.

Get creative, and make your own —
to visually communicate the relationship between ANY two factors affecting any decision.



Bookmark = how

How to use your

Quadrant Chart Excel template

Find and open your template

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win menu

Find and open your
Quadrant Chart template


in the same way that you find and open
your other 150+ Systems2win templates.

Save your working document

following the usual document storage and naming conventions established by your leaders

Open a Blank Sheet

Systems2win menu > Open a Blank Sheet

When you're ready to start doing your own real work...

click the button to 'Open a Blank Sheet'

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win tab > Open a Blank Sheet

This blank sheet is where you will do your real work

(not on the Sample sheet)

Rename your new sheet.

If English is not your preferred language

Switch to your language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.

Now your team is ready to get started...

Define the decision that needs to be made

Perhaps overwrite the big title at the top of the page —
replacing the words 'Quadrant Chart' with the name of the type of the chart you are creating.

For example Effective-Achievable Chart, Importance-Performance, Perceptual Map... See Variations above

The Title should be short — because whatever you type there will also appear as the Title in the chart.

The optional Subtitle

quadrant chart header

can be a longer description
of the problem to be solved.

Ensure that everyone understands and agrees upon what is to be decided.

Use your Operational Definitions template if needed.

Edit Titles for your X and Y data

The X and & Axis Titles
that you type in the header will also appear:

  1. in the clear text boxes above the gold column headers for X and Y
  2. and as the Axis Titles in your quadrant chart.

Examples of X and Y Titles:

Effective-Achievable. Importance-Performance. Plan-Results...

See Variations in the training section above

Define your Rating Scale

On the DV sheet, define what each rating means — in the 0–10 Rating Scale that appears in the dropdown lists.

For example, the same score of '7' on the Y Axis for 'Effectiveness'

might be defined to mean "good but not great results",

and the same score of '7' for the X Axis for 'Achievable'

might be defined to mean "can be implemented with reasonable resources, but some difficulty"

The default rating scale is from 0 to 10.

To use any scale to other than 0-10,
you would need to manually change the Max and Major Grid values for both chart axes.

(It's usually smarter and easier to use decimal places, rather than changing the scale.)

Optionally edit the 4 axis label text boxes on the chart —
to optionally replace the words "Low" and "High" with clearer descriptions of the opposite ends of your scales.

Examples: "Extremely poor" to "Outstanding". "Bright white" to "Dark black". "Despondent" to "Elated".
Any descriptions that make sense for the things YOU are measuring.

You may also need to manually move these text boxes around to align them correctly —
if your chart or anything within it gets resized or moved.

Enter data in the Chart Labels column

Your Chart Labels are often your Alternatives - that you are choosing between.

To generate ideas, perhaps use brainstorming and/or hansei.


Tip: Any Excel chart has a maximum of 255 charted items.

Optional Notes

To keep your Chart Labels short...

you might use the optional column for Notes.

Tip: The Notes column can be either in or out of your Print Area.

Assign ratings

For each row, enter a number for the X and Y values.

To enter X and Y values for each row, you can either use the dropdown list, or simply enter a number.

Apply Chart Labels

Apply chart chart labels

In the Systems2win menu in the Excel Ribbon bar, select 'Apply Chart Labels'

Optionally format your chart

Select your chart, and then in the chart-related tabs that appear in the Excel Ribbon bar, you can use everything that you know (or learn) about familiar Microsoft Excel to format your chart anyway you like it.

How to notice duplicate X and Y values

quadrant chart duplicate check

If any row has the same X and Y values as another row,

then then there will be only 1 dot on the chart
for both (duplicated) items.

The columns just to the left of the Print Area will highlight duplicates.

How to handle overlapping chart labels

Option 1) Use shorter Chart Labels

Perhaps using the optional Notes column for longer descriptions.

Option 2) Change the value of X and/or Y

enough so that the chart labels no longer overlap

Option 3) Make the chart bigger

Increase the width of the column that contains the chart,
and/or drag the bottom edge of the chart to make it taller.

If you change chart size, then you might also need to:

Change Print Settings, perhaps to print on multiple pages, or to print on plotter paper.

Drag any text boxes that you added to your chart for additional clarification of axis values.

Option 4) Temporarily move a chart label

When you click any chart label, all chart labels will become highlighted.

Then you can click and drag the one that you want to move.

Just know that chart labels will be recreated each time that you click the button to 'Apply Chart Labels'.

Make decisions

The quadrant chart makes it easy to visually see where each alternative falls in the quadrants
but your team may want to also consider additional factors before arriving at your final decisions.

User-Defined Columns

There is a hidden column (just left of the chart) that you can unhide to use for any user-defined purpose.

And you can copy that column to add unlimited user-defined columns if desired.

Bookmark = Reading

Suggested Reading and Resources

scatter plot

See suggested reading for Six Sigma tools and Decision Making tools


Another process improvement tool that is similar to a Quadrant Chart

is a Scatter Plot X-Y Graph

This Quadrant Chart template comes with
many other useful tools for Continuous Process Improvement



priced low enough to empower every team member