Synoptic Opportunities Matrix

Opportunities Matrix

Prioritising a multitude of changes

A key output of our Business Process Improvement methodology is the production of a ‘Synoptic Opportunities Matrix’ that cross references process improvement initiatives. Its a great way to the establishment of a Benefits Realisation Plan. The matrix enables all stakeholders to clearly see what type of change is required, by process and to agree a course of action.

The Synoptic Opportunities Matrix is constructed in two dimensions. The ‘Financial Benefits’ (vertical axis) part of the ‘Investment / Return’ relationship is derived from the benefits (cost or cycle time) indicated by comparative modelling of the ‘As Is’ and ‘To Be’ processes discussed earlier.

The ‘Solution Complexity’ (horizontal axis) part of the ‘Investment / Return’ relationship is derived from the estimates of cost required to achieve the To Be processes themselves. Typical cost types include technology, services, change management and training.


Some of the key themes of such an Opportunities Matrix can be summarised as follows;

  •  not all changes require long term, costly I/T-related initiatives. System changes often need only the configuring of dormant application functionality, redesigning poor input screens, and removing spreadsheet work-arounds
  • policy and behavioural quick wins are also commonplace and effective
  • higher priorities – in general, initiatives above the ‘bottom-left to top-right’ diagonal
  • the ‘Row’ view – processes often benefit from a wide range of improvement initiatives, ranging from relatively quick / inexpensive, to lengthier / costlier. Some solutions require multiple, co-requisite initiatives in order to deliver the full benefits, others require multiple but independent initiatives. Partial solutions would simply yield partial benefits. This is a useful guide in Change Management.
  • the ‘Column’ view – most processes benefit from recurring themes of intervention (eg. policy changes), again guiding Change Management.

The Bottom Line?

The use of the ‘Synoptic Opportunities Matrix’ allows executives a one page summarised view of their roadmap for change.