GE-McKinsey nine-box matrixis a strategy device that uses a systematic approach for the multi service corporation come prioritize its investments amongst its service units.

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<1>GE-McKinseyis a framework that evaluates business portfolio, provides further strategic implications and also helps come prioritize the investment essential for each organization unit (BU).<2>

In the company world, lot like anywhere else, the problem of source scarcity is influence the decision the service providers make. With limited resources, but many avenues of using them, the businesses need to choose how to usage their cash best. The fight for investments takes place in every level that the company: in between teams, sensible departments, divisions or business units. The concern of where and also how lot to invest is an ever going headache for those who allocate the resources.

How go this influence the diversified businesses? Multi service companies manage complex business portfolios, often, with as much as 50, 60 or 100 products and also services. The commodities or service units differ in what castle do, just how well they perform or in your future prospects. This provides it an extremely hard to do a decision in which assets the agency should invest. In ~ least, that was hard until the BCG matrix and its enhanced version GE-McKinsey matrix concerned help. This tools fixed the problem by comparing the company units and assigning them to the groups that are worth investing in or the teams that should be harvest or divested.


In 1970s, General electric was regulating a vast and complicated portfolio that unrelated products and also was unsatisfied around the return from its investments in the products. At the time, suppliers usually relied top top projections of future cash flows, future market expansion or some various other future projections come make investment decisions, which to be an unreliable technique to point out the resources. Therefore, GE consulted the McKinsey & firm and together a result the nine-box structure was designed. The nine-box procession plots the BUs top top its 9 cell that indicate whether the agency should invest in a product, harvest/divest that or perform a more research ~ above the product and also invest in the if there’re quiet some resources left. The BUs are evaluated on two axes: market attractiveness and a competitive strength of a unit.

Industry Attractiveness

Industry attractiveness indicates how tough or simple it will be for a company to compete in the market and earn profits. The more financially rewarding the industry is the much more attractive it becomes. When examining the industry attractiveness, analysts should look exactly how an sector will readjust in the lengthy run quite than in the near future, because the investments needed for the product commonly require durable commitment.

Industry attractiveness consists of countless factors that collectively determine the vain level in it. There’s no definite list of which factors should be had to recognize industry attractiveness, yet the adhering to are the most common: <1>

Long run expansion rateIndustry sizeIndustry framework (use Structure-Conduct-Performance structure to determine this)Product life bike changesChanges in demandTrend of pricesSeasonalityAvailability of laborMarket segmentation

Competitive strength of a organization unit or a product

Along the X axis, the matrix measures just how strong, in regards to competition, a certain business unit is against its rivals. In other words, managers try to identify whether a business unit has actually a sustainable competitive benefit (or at least temporary vain advantage) or not. If the agency has a sustainable vain advantage, the following question is: “For just how long it will be sustained?”

The following components determine the competitive stamin of a company unit:

Total sector shareMarket re-publishing growth contrasted to rivalsBrand stamin (use brand worth for this)Profitability the the companyCustomer loyaltyLevel that product differentiationProduction flexibility


Helps to prioritize the restricted resources in bespeak to achieve the finest returns.Managers become more aware of exactly how their commodities or company units perform.It’s much more sophisticated service portfolio framework than the BCG matrix.Identifies the strategic actions the company needs to do to enhance the power of its business portfolio.


Requires a consultant or a extremely experienced person to identify industry’s attractiveness and also business unit toughness as accurately as possible.It is costly to conduct.It doesn’t take right into account the synergy effect that could exist between two or much more business units.

Difference in between GE McKinsey and also BCG matrices

GE McKinsey matrix is a very comparable portfolio evaluation framework to BCG matrix. Both matrices are used to analysis company’s product or service unit portfolio and facilitate the invest decisions.

The key differences:

Visual difference. BCG is only a four cell matrix, while GE McKinsey is a nine cell matrix. Nine cells provide better visual portrait that where organization units was standing in the matrix. It likewise separates the invest/grow cells from harvest/divest cells that are much closer to each other in the BCG matrix and also may confuse others of what invest decisions to make.
Comprehensiveness. The factor why the GE McKinsey framework was occurred is that BCG portfolio tool wasn’t innovative enough for the guys from basic Electric. In BCG matrix, competitive strength of a service unit is equal to relative sector share, i beg your pardon assumes the the larger the industry share a organization has the better it is positioned to contend in the market. This is true, yet it’s as well simplistic come assume the it’s the only factor affecting the competition in the market. The same is with industry attractiveness the is measured only as the market development rate in BCG. It concerns no surprise that GE v its complicated business portfolio essential something more comprehensive 보다 that.

Using the tool

There room no established processes or models the managers can use once performing the analysis. Therefore, us designed the complying with steps come facilitate the process:

Step 1. Identify industry attractiveness the each service unit

Make a perform of factors. The an initial thing you’ll have to do is to identify, which components to encompass when measuring sector attractiveness. We’ve provided the list of the most usual factors, but you should include the components that room the most proper to her industries.Assign weights. Weights show how necessary a variable is to industry’s attractiveness. A number native 0.01 (not important) come 1.0 (very important) need to be assigned to every factor. The amount of every weights have to equal come 1.0.Rate the factors. The following thing you have to do is to price each element for each of her product or organization unit. Select the values between ‘1-5’ or ‘1-10’, where ‘1’ suggests the low market attractiveness and ‘5’ or ‘10’ high sector attractiveness.Calculate the total scores. Total score is the sum of every weighted scores because that each company unit. Load scores are calculated by multiplying weights and ratings. Full scores permit comparing industry attractiveness because that each organization unit.
Industry Attractiveness (1/2)Business Unit 1Business Unit 2FactorWeightRatingWeighted ScoreRatingWeighted ScoreIndustry expansion rateIndustry sizeIndustry profitabilityIndustry structureTrend the pricesMarket segmentationTotal score

Industry Attractiveness (2/2)Business Unit 3Business Unit 4FactorWeightRatingWeighted ScoreRatingWeighted ScoreIndustry expansion rateIndustry sizeIndustry profitabilityIndustry structureTrend the pricesMarket segmentationTotal score
0.0920.18 30.27

This is a difficult task and one that usually requires including a consultant that is an professional of the sectors in question. The consultant will aid you to determine the weights and also to price them appropriately so the analysis is as precise as possible.

Step 2. Identify the competitive toughness of each organization unit

‘Step 2’ is the very same as ‘Step 1’ only this time, rather of sector attractiveness, the competitive toughness of a business unit is evaluated.

Make a perform of factors. Choose the compete strength factors from our perform or add your own factors.Assign weights. Weights suggest how vital a aspect is in achieving sustainable vain advantage. A number indigenous 0.01 (not important) come 1.0 (very important) should be assigned to every factor. The sum of all weights have to equal to 1.0.Rate the factors. Price each variable for every of your product or company unit. Pick the values in between ‘1-5’ or ‘1-10’, whereby ‘1’ suggests the weak strength and also ‘5’ or ‘10’ powerful strength.Calculate the complete scores. View ‘Step 1’.
Competitive toughness (1/2)Business Unit 1Business Unit 2FactorWeightRatingWeighted ScoreRatingWeighted ScoreMarket shareRelative expansion rateCompany’s profitabilityBrand valueVRIO resourcesCPM ScoreTotal score

Competitive strength (2/2)Business Unit 3Business Unit 4FactorWeightRatingWeighted ScoreRatingWeighted ScoreMarket shareRelative growth rateCompany’s profitabilityBrand valueVRIO resourcesCPM ScoreTotal score

Step 3. Plot the business units ~ above a matrix


With all the evaluations and scores in place, we have the right to plot the organization units top top the matrix. Each company unit is stood for as a circle. The dimension of the circle must correspond to the relationship of the organization revenue generated by that service unit. For example, ‘Business unit 1’ generates 20% revenue and ‘Business unit 2’ generates 40% revenue for the company. The size of a circle because that ‘Business unit 1’ will certainly be half the size of a circle for ‘Business unit 2’.

Step 4. Analyze the information


There are various investment effects you should follow, depending on which boxes your business units have been plotted. There are 3 groups of boxes: investment/grow, selectivity/earnings and also harvest/divest boxes. Each team of boxes indicates what you must do through your investments.

Investment implicationsInvest/GrowSelectivity/EarningsHarvest/DivestInvest or not?
Definitely investInvest if yes sir money left and the instance of business unit could be improvedInvest just sufficient to save the service unit operation or divest

Invest/Grow box. Companies have to invest right into the service units that loss into these boxes as they promise the greatest returns in the future. These service units will require a lot of cash because they’ll be operating in cultivation industries and also will need to maintain or prosper their sector share. The is important to administer as lot resources as possible for BUs for this reason there would certainly be no constraints because that them come grow. The investments have to be listed for R&D, advertising, acquisitions and to boost the manufacturing capacity to satisfy the need in the future.

Selectivity/Earnings box. You have to invest right into these BUs just if you have actually the money left over the investments in invest/grow company units group and also if you think that BUs will certainly generate cash in the future. These business units room often taken into consideration last together there’s a lot of uncertainty with them. The general ascendancy should it is in to invest in organization units which run in vast markets and there are not many dominant players in the market, for this reason the invest would help to conveniently win larger market share.

Harvest/Divest box. The company units that space operating in unattractive industries, don’t have actually sustainable competitive advantages or room incapable of achieving it and are performing fairly poorly fall into harvest/divest boxes. What have to companies carry out with these service units?

First, if the business unit generates surplus cash, companies need to treat castle the very same as the organization units that autumn into ‘cash cows’ box in the BCG matrix. This method that the companies must invest right into these service units just sufficient to store them operating and also collect all the cash generated by it. In various other words, it’s worth to invest into such service as long as investments into it no exceed the cash produced from it.

Second, the company units that just make losses must be divested. If it is impossible and there’s no method to revolve the losses right into profits, the agency should liquidate the business unit.

Step 5. Determine the future direction that each service unit

The GE McKinsey matrix only gives the current snapshot of market attractiveness and also the competitive strength of a service unit and also doesn’t think about how lock may readjust in the future. Further evaluation may disclose that investments into some of the business units can considerably improve their competitive positions or that the sector may experience major growth in the future. This affects the decisions we make about our investments right into one or another business unit.

For example, our previous evaluations show that the ‘Business Unit 1’ belongs come invest/grow box, however further analysis of an industry reveals that it’s going come shrink substantially in the near future. Therefore, in the near future, the organization unit will certainly be in harvest/divest group rather 보다 invest/grow box. Would certainly you still invest as much in ‘Business Unit 1’ as you would have actually invested initially? The answer is no and also the matrix should take that right into consideration.

How to carry out that? Well, the agency should consult through the industry analysts to identify whether the industry attractiveness will grow, stay the exact same or diminish in the future. Girlfriend should also discuss with your managers whether your business unit competitive strength will likely boost or diminish in the close to future. Once all the details is collected you should include it to her existing matrix, by adding the arrows come the circles. The arrows should suggest to the future place of a service unit.

The adhering to table shows just how industry attractiveness and also business unit competitive toughness will adjust in 2 years.

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Business Unit 1Business Unit 2Business Unit 3Business Unit 4Industry attractivenessBusiness unit compete strength
DecreaseStay the sameStay the sameIncrease


Step 6. Prioritize your investments

The last step is to decide where and how to invest the that company money. While the matrix provides it easier by evaluating the company units and identifying the ideal ones come invest in, the still doesn’t answer some an extremely important questions:

Is it really worth investing right into some organization units?How much precisely to invest in?Where to invest into business units (more to R&D, marketing, value chain?) to boost their performance?

Doing the GE McKinsey matrix and also answering all the concerns takes time, effort and money, but it’s still among the most necessary product portfolio monitoring tools that considerably facilitate invest decisions.


McKinsey & company (2008). Enduring Ideas: The GE–McKinsey nine-box matrix. Available at:, F.R. (2009). Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases. 12th ed. FT Prentice HallWiki (2008). BCG procession & GE/McKinsey Matrix. Accessible at: