Compare Alternatives – Spider Chart

The Compare Alternatives capability within the Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF) contains two different comparison views that you can use to compare your alternatives:

Tornado Chart: This chart compares the relative effectiveness of any pair of alternatives.  It displays their advantages/disadvantages in a simple bar chart format that highlights the discriminators between the 2 solutions.

Tornado Chart - Portfolio decision

Tornado Chart – Portfolio decision

Spider Chart: The Spider Chart compares many alternatives at a time against criteria.  It is very useful for portfolio decisions where you may consider 10-15 alternatives and commit to implement 5-8 based on their relative merits.

Spider Chart - Portfolio decision

Spider Chart – Portfolio decision

Spider charts are also known as Radar Diagrams.  The “lopsided” diagram is intentionally implemented wherein the length of each “spoke” matches the priority/weight of the criterion it represents.  This presents a truer picture of the “trade space” where alternatives compete for supremacy between the threshold and objective values.  The area inside each “web” represents the overall effectiveness of an alternative; the web with the greatest area suggests the most attractive solution, all things considered.

Spider charts are also a good way to capture a competitive analysis.  Use it to score out your organization’s market positioning statements (value propositions or differentiation strategies) relative to your competitors.  Spider charts are also good for recognizing and communicating opportunities for hybridization; combining 2 alternatives in such a way that you can take advantage of their relative strengths while offsetting their weaknesses.  Business partnerships, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures can all be visualized as hybrids.

Both charts include a common legend that graphically displays the overall effectiveness of each alternative as a summary scoring bar (total weighted score). This can help you quickly separate the wheat from the chaff and zero in on the top few alternatives.

Use the powerful graphical visualization capability of the Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF) to compare your alternatives and guide you with your alternative selection process. Begin today by contacting the Decision Driven® Solutions team at or to start your free trial of DDSF.

About decisiondriven

Innovator in Decision Management, Systems Thinking and System Engineering methods and tools
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