What's on Your Radar?

TL;DR What's On Your Radar is a way to understand the landscape of a given stakeholder and determine what is most important to them. This exercise helps describe and organize thoughts in order to prioritize the most important and meaningful items. 

  • The radar map is split into 4 quadrants. Label these, and then use the sticky notes to outline your ideas into the 4 quadrants you have named 
  • Having an "other" quadrant can help keep chaotic ideas or future aspirations organized
  • Things can (and should) shift over time on a radar diagram in order to stay current
  • This exercise can be used every 3-6 months to help keep the most important things in focus
  • What's On Your Radar also serves as a great record keeper, especially when done consistently over a period of time 

Jump right into the Miro Template

This exercise is one of the earliest sensing tools you can use to describe and organize what is on the purview of any stakeholder, whether primary, secondary or even tertiary. Ultimately, we use the radar experience to understand what is on the landscape in someone’s given environment and how important it is. Generally, the intuitive feeling of a standard target or radar map is correct here:

  • As things move closer to the center, the more important or intense the feeling is of whatever is being described
  • The further you get from the center, the less weight that item or idea carries.

    Using A Radar Diagram Over Time

    It’s important to realize that sometimes this tool is most impactful when used over a period of time, especially when we consider the changes in stakeholders. When you are using this with stakeholders, things like the environment, technology, regulation, or the social implication surround them might evolve. The reality is that over time, things shift (as they should) and this exercise should be done consistently to stay in line with the current needs of a stakeholder.

    How To Use This Tool

    At the top of the template you will see a section for a tasks. The task is all about the outcome that you at trying to generate. Below your task is where you will be able to label the 4 different quadrants of the radar diagram. Sometimes, it can be helpful to use an “other” bucket for any ideas that don’t fit neatly into the first 3 quadrants. If you do decide to use the 4th quadrant as an “other” bucket, you’ll see that it can often handle future aspirations and metrics that will matter later down the road. 

    Once you have your quadrants laid out, place a sticky note in and around the radar quadrant with your idea, information, or aspiration. Using sticky notes in Miro is a great way to make sure that each user can be identified. You can also color code sticky notes to further organize.

    Jump right into the Miro Template

    Final Thoughts

    The What’s On Your Radar template allows you and your team to have a conversation around which sticky notes are most intense, significant or strong. Important sticky notes will be clearly visible towards the center of the diagram, while not as critical notes can be found on the perimeter of the outer circle. This allows you to shift perspective and prioritize the most meaningful notes. When done, the What’s On Your Radar diagram serves as an excellent record of what was most important at the time. You can repeat this exercise every 3-6 months in order to stay consistent and shape your project’s progress. 

    Looking For More Resources?

    Adam Paulisick

    Founder at SKILLBUILDER & maadlabs.io (fmr @BCG @Nielsen — acquired 3x). Prof @teppercmu, MHCI & exec ed at Gates School of Comp Sci. Founder @TheShopPgh

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