Process Interaction Matrix

The Process Interaction Matrix tool is used to identify the inputs and outputs and relationships of processes in an organization. 

Why:

  • This Matrix is used to analyze the relationships between major processes within your organization;
  • It identifies the interaction of major processes by showing the outputs of one process and its relationship to the input of another process, which leads users to better understanding of organizational process;
  • If you need to identify where change in one process will impact another;
  • This tool is most useful at high level.  For example, you could do a Process Interaction Matrix for an entire Division (Sustainable Fisheries) or group (Catch Accounting Branch);
  • The matrix may be less useful for a specific project

How:

  1. Fill in your major processes or activities along the top row in the matrix;
  2. Fill out those same processes or activities in the first column of the worksheet (starting at the top);
Example: you are developing a process interaction matrix for a department that has 3 main functions;  writing regulations, implementing catch accounting, and in-season management of fisheries.  You would fill out the matrix like this: 

ProcessInteractionMatrix1.jpg

  • With the first activity on the first row, fill in the major outputs of that activity when they are inputs to the processes on the top; 
  • In this example, "write regulations" is the first process and then you move across in the matrix. Note the output of that process which provides an input to the activity in the column heading.

ProcessInteractionMatrix2.jpg

  • This Process Interaction Matrix shows that regulations create the rules that define how catch accounting is done.  So the rules for catch accounting are an output of written regulations and an input for catch accounting.  Written regulations also set the harvest specifications that are used for inseason management. 
  • By completing the entire matrix you are able to see which processes impact other activities.  In our simple example, inseason management has no outputs that impact the other two processes.  But inseason management is impacted by both written regulations and catch accounting.

Click here to see a template and here to see a worked example.

Example:

This tool was used in the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) to document all processes and their associated outputs for the Fisheries Data Services and Analytical Program Support divisions.   The matrix showed the appropriate staff how their activities are integrated and how their products are dependent on the input from other user groups.  The matrix was created over the course of an ASQ workshop when all process groups were interviewed.   The matrix was also used to help complete the Guidelines for the Definition of Managed Objects (GDMO) chart which helped identify what processes to focus on.  This process led GARFO to identify the need to create a trip matching process to implement for sector management activities.

Subject Ambassador:

Glenn Campbell - Alaska Fisheries Science Center: glenn.campbell@noaa.gov.