IAF Methods

Interdependency Matrix

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For a group or team to look at their internal relationships and reflect on their effectiveness


You will be able to upload attachments once after you create the method.


  • 2 flipcharts per function in the team
  • markers
  • 10 post its per participant



Setting:  with a group that is working together on a daily basis. Works best in the context of a group's or team's  vision; can work as a stand alone exercise examining how a team is functioning and what it can do to work together more effectively

Ideal conditions: End of first day or part of the second day after the group has had an opportunity to build some trust and conversations.

Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship:
 Trust to share real issues

Facilitator personality fit: Patience to hold the group while they are working through naming challenges


Interdependency Matrix  (simple procedure for more complex ones send me an email at larry@icatw.com)

Part I: Meet in functions, each function will take a sheet of flipchart paper and write their 5 most important functions. Number them in order of importance to rest of the team. 1 is most important.

Once completed, each function will share.

Other teammates have the opportunity to ask questions to clarify and to add additional roles or responsibilities the function plays or needs to play. Finally they will vote for the two most important tasks of that function. (place a star by those)

This may be a particularly difficult exercise but it is important for us to see how the relationships are currently functioning.


Part 2: Once all functions have shared you will give each function the opportunity to state the greatest challenges that their function is facing moving into the vision and in their project area.  Have someone be the scribe for the team to capture Role/Function/Challenge.

After each function has stated their challenges the rest of the functions/ individuals have the opportunity to write supportive action post-its: What can I do to support you in dealing with your challenge?

They do not have to write but it is an opportunity to look for ways to meet the challenges of other functions.

After all functions have shared do an open Dialogue on the challenge facing the team


Follow-Up Required: Depends on the overall context of the program

Usual or Expected Outcomes: Three outcome options (Depending on depth of conversation and "safety" developed prior to the conversation)

Potential pitfalls: The dialogue piece of part two depends on the group's willingness and ability to be honest with each other

How success is evaluated:

Part 1: The teams clarified their roles and responsibilities

Part 2: Sharing of vulnerabilities

Examples of successes and failures: Worked well: Multinational leadership team in mid change reflecting on the roles of each member and preparing to restrategise next steps


Source: Larry Philbrook, ICA

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