Management Planning Tools

Affinity diagram
Organizes a large number of ideas into their natural relationships
Relations diagram
Shows cause-and-effect relationships and helps you analyze the natural links between different aspects of a complex situation
Tree diagram
Breaks down broad categories into finer and finer levels of detail, helping you move your thinking step by step from generalities to specifics
Matrix diagram
Shows the relationship between two, three or four groups of information and can give information about the relationship, such as its strength, the roles played by various individuals, or measurements
Matrix data analysis
A complex mathematical technique for analyzing matrices, often replaced in this list by the similar prioritization matrix. One of the most rigorous, careful and time-consuming of decision-making tools, a prioritization matrix is an L-shaped matrix that uses pairwise comparisons of a list of options to a set of criteria in order to choose the best option(s).
Arrow diagram
Shows the required order of tasks in a project or process, the best schedule for the entire project, and potential scheduling and resource problems and their solutions
Process decision program chart (PDPC)
Systematically identifies what might go wrong in a plan under development

Excerpted from Nancy R. Tague's The Quality Toolbox, Second Edition, ASQ Quality Press, 2004.