Polar charts changed how we collaborate
Recently, we’ve been utilizing polar charts to make tough decisions and open up honest conversations about our projects.
- They reveal team members’ genuine thoughts on a project
- They give insight into issues that leadership may not have considered
- They are super quick and simple to fill out
Will this project be a success?
I wanted know if polar charts could help us better predict when a project will be a success before we agree to work on it. So, we ran an experiment.
Quick aside: Polar charts go by many names: spider charts, radar charts, web charts, or star plots, but they all consist of points plotted on different radii of a circle.
Our team took the MVP approach to see if polar charts could help. Predicting the success of a project is complex, but to start we chose a few key factors to rate projects on. We placed a factor on each corner of the chart and asked the team to fill it out.
The value is not in the shape but the discussion
After filling out each of our charts, we had a very impactful discussion. We asked each other questions like, “Why was your relationship score so low?” or “Why do you think this project has such a high lead potential?”.
We found the impact/effort ratio of this exercise was high. The impact of using these polar charts greatly outweighs the effort needed to complete them.
Other uses for polar charts?
This conclusion sent us running to explore other possibilities, “How else might polar charts be used?”
We’ve experimented with using polar charts in other contexts 👇
- Goal evaluation: “Do I have a good 3-month goal?"
- User testing review: "How would you [user] rate the application you just tested?"
- Discovery call evaluation: “Should we pursue working this lead?”
Try using polar charts
DIY - Take 5 minutes to print out our polar chart and have your team give you quick honest feedback on its success probability.
Get some help - Looking for innovative ways to help your team break out of its rut? Ask us anything or check out our innovation workshop.
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