Preparing a CARVER Matrix
Let’s take an example to illustrate how a Carver Matrix can be prepared for prioritizing tasks associated with the setting up of a customer support centre. The key tasks identified for this project are –
- Installation of hardware
- Installation of software
- Procuring work desks and office furniture
- Installation of the air-conditioning system
- Interior decoration
Now to construct the matrix we’ll list all these tasks in the first column. Here’s an image of the final matrix, which you can refer to as you read the explanations.
Criticality: Moving on to the next column, we need to assign each activity a criticality score. A quick look at the activities suggest that while networking, hardware and software are critical for the setting up of the call centre, air-conditioning and interior decoration don’t have any significant effect on the main objective.
Accessibility: You cannot have the computers setup until there are office desks for them, and you cannot have the software installed until the computers have been setup. Thus, the first task that can be done is to procure office furniture and that’s what earns this activity a higher score.
Return: The faster the networking and hardware & software installation take place, the faster will be the payback. The payback time doesn’t have much to do with the air-conditioning of the office.
Vulnerability: Procuring furniture for the office is certainly easy as compared to the technical tasks, and thus it gets a higher vulnerability score. Also, when we look at the cost, furniture is likely to be less expensive than networking or hardware.
Effect: Is the interior of the office going to help in meeting the project goal? It is the networking, hardware and software that will have a greater and stronger effect on the goal.
Recognizability: Of all the project activities, the easiest task to understand and do is to procure office furniture. The technical tasks are difficult to understand and do, so they score lower on this parameter.
With every activity assigned a score across the six parameters, we’re ready for the final task. Total the scores for each activity and finally rank the activities on the basis of the total scores. The higher the total, the higher the rank for a particular activity will be. In the example we’ve used a five point scale for scoring, but you can use a ten point scale for more accuracy. The template available at the above link will automatically total the scores and rank the activities as you fill in the individual scores.