At least one representative from each project partner should participate in the workshop.

1. Create a matrix with the names of the project partners on the horizontal and vertical axis. The horizontal axis can be considered as "GIVE" and the vertical axis as "TAKE". The expectation matrix is therefore also known as the give-and-take matrix.

2. At the beginning, each actor defines his/her main goal in the project and writes it in a horizontal line under his/her name.

3. Each actor fills in the intersections of the matrix that concern him/her as follows - TAKE: What do I want to get from each of the other project partners or what do I expect from them? GIVE: What competences, services or contacts can I offer to the other project partners?

4. The first actor starts with the presentation of the desired TAKEs and proposed GIVEs. The other project participants react to the extent to which the expectations can be fulfilled.

5. Evaluate the matrix together afterwards: Which expectations are met? Which ones are not met? What contribution can be delivered even though it is not expected?

6. Make sure together that no roles are left out. Define clear responsibilities and open expectations and derive specific follow-up tasks for all participants.

More about the tool

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • The partners get to know each other better.
  • The method quickly creates clarity about the contributions and expectations of all participants.
  • Misunderstandings about roles and responsibilities can be reduced at an early stage.
  • By showing which expectations have not yet been met, each partner knows what needs to be worked on more in the future.
  • Binding statements are made that can be referred to in the course of the project.


  • Personas can never accurately predict the behavior of users in reality.
  • Often the team quickly focuses on a stereotype, this should be avoided.
  • The collection and gathering of necessary data takes some time.

Application into practice

The sub-project "Regional Health Promotion in the District of Borken" in mü has set itself the task of establishing a resilient health promotion network as a further development of the preventive and health-promoting range of services in the district of Borken. The network is composed of relevant partners in health promotion and prevention as well as local actors. For a functioning network, it is important that the roles and responsibilities among the participants are clearly defined. But how can the different expectations of a joint network be visualized among the project members and how can roles and responsibilities be derived from them? - The subproject used the tool of the expectation matrix together with their partners to answer this question. The project managers of the subproject invited all partners to a workshop shortly after the start of the project. At this point, the project partners already knew each other, but were not aware of each other's expectations of the project and competencies. Each project partner defined his or her existing competencies and expectations on the topic of "psychosocial health in the workplace under dual stress" (in this case, caring for family members while simultaneously working). The partners recorded their respective expectations (TAKE) and contributions (GIVE) on walls in the form of an expectation matrix. Some of the results had to be replayed by the project managers, as the partners' statements were not always entirely clear. This increased the time required. Nevertheless, clear responsibilities were defined and obstacles to transfer were revealed, which could be worked on in the further course of the project.

Hints from practice

  • Good preparation and moderation are important. You should keep to the time frame and always refer to each contribution.
  • Use traffic light colors to visualize the results (green = expectations fulfilled, yellow = contribution without expectation, red = expectation not yet fulfilled).
  • The expectations that were not met or contributions that are not expected should be looked at and discussed more specifically afterwards. Is there a possibility to fulfill the expectations after all, or what happens if they cannot be fulfilled?
  • Write down the results in a document (What can partner X offer and contribute to topic Y?) and share it with all participants, this creates more commitment.
  • You should make the matrix transparently accessible to each project partner. This can help to build trust, because each project partner knows what can be expected from which project partner or what will be delivered.


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