If you’re a project manager, you’ll know that making decisions is a part and parcel of your job, daily. These decisions don’t only include the kind of team you should pick for projects or how regularly you should meet. The primary responsibility of every project manager is always focusing on projects' goals and ensuring that they are met. They should do this while also considering resource constraints, so that it doesn’t affect the implementation process. But this is not the tricky part – the tricky part is making sound, informed decisions when there are a thousand variables at play. Most of these variables are interdependent, affecting the outcome in various ways. So, finding if these variables interact and the correlation between them is extremely important, even if it’s in the context of project management.
This is where project management courses help you through creating a holistic learning experience covering various concepts, approaches, and tools that are handy in project management. But how do you do that? By using tools, of course. And one such tool that does exactly this is a Scatter diagram. Any math or commerce students in your house? Ask them about this, they’re sure to know. However, telling you all you need to know about Scatter Diagrams in PMP and why you need them is my job (even though I hate Math). So, let’s get stated!
A scatter diagram is a simple representation that is used to find out the correlation between two variables. These variables ae plotted along the X and Y axis on a two-dimensional graph. The first variable is independent; however, the second variable is dependent on the first one. The pattern, or markings that finally comes up represents the relationship/association between the two. A scatter diagram, also known as a scatter graph, usually looks like a collection of tiny dots that’s wither all over the place, or in a slope of some kind. If there is a relation between the two variables, it’s called a correlation. Scatter Diagrams in PMP usually tell us how a change in the independent variable causes a change in the value of the dependent one, and by how much.
The KnowledgeHut pmp prep course online covers all the project management tools and techniques in detail and equips you to choose the right problem-solving tools for every situation. According to the PMBOK Guide, “a Scatter graph is one that shows the relationship between two variables. Scatter diagrams can show a relationship between any element of a process, environment, or activity on one axis and a quality defect on the other axis.”
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What is a Scatter Diagram used for? Here, we explore the three main applications of a Scatter Diagram.
When we talk about different types of scatter diagrams, there are mainly three of them. These variations are categorized based on how strong or weak the slope is. Another possibility exists where there isn’t any slope at all. The three types of Scatter Diagrams are:
In this Scatter diagram, the data points are spread so randomly, scattered all across the graph that you cannot plot a line through them. There is no slope/trend to be found. This means that there is no relationship or correlation between the two variables.
In this Scatter Diagram, the data points/dots are a little closer to each other. They are still scattered, which means that you cannot properly plot a straight line through them. But since they are closer to each other you can say that there is some sort of relationship between the two variables.
In this Scatter Diagram, as you might have correctly guessed, there is a strong correlation or relationship between the dependent and independent variable. The data points/dots are close enough that you can plot a trend line through them. In this scenario, a relationship definitely exits between the two variables.
While a Scatter Diagram in PMP does help you explore possible relationships between two variables, they come with a few limitations to them as well. They are as follows:
A Scatter Diagram in PMP is useful in two scenarios - while preparing for the PMP exam, and while making important business decisions. Let’s explore these scenarios in further detail:
In the above three scenarios, the quality defect is the dependent variable, because it is influenced by the process, environment, or business activity in question. You and your team should be able to understand which are the actual variables in play before plotting the Scatter Diagram.
While you can use scatter diagrams to determine relationships, you can also use them to verify the opposite – how distant the relationship between two variables is and use such insights to arrive at decisions. If you invest in a good pmp prep course online, you will be sure to learn the comparative advantages and disadvantages of various project management tools and techniques.
Scatter diagrams are useful in determining the relationship between two variables. This relationship can be between two causes, or a cause and an effect. It can be positive, negative, or have no superficial correlation at all. The first variable is independent, and the second variable depends on the first. To analyze the pattern of the relationship, you change the independent variable and monitor the changes in the dependent one. A scatter diagram will help you make important business decisions while also ensuring that you’re on the right track.
A scatter diagram is a visual aid commonly used in project management, but not exclusive to PMP, to find out the correlation between two variables. These variables ae plotted along the X and Y axis on a two-dimensional graph.
Scatter diagrams are particularly useful when dealing with a large dataset that is spread over an equally large chunk of time. Scatter diagrams can help establish correlation between events and causes in such cases. Scatter diagrams can also be used to visually represent the relationship between variables in the context of other product and/or service industries.
As we have seen above, Scatter diagrams are of three kind; those showing a positive correlation, those showing a negative correlation, and those showing no correlation at all.
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