Stay focused on the relevant and important tasks, projects and ideas.
The Priority Matrix helps you to select the most relevant and important options out of all possible ideas, tasks, projects or other items by letting you first visually sort all items according to two dimensions (for example sorting tasks according to importance and urgency). Afterwards you can focus on the items in one of the quadrants, for instance the ones in the upper right one. Make use of the Priority Matrix to clearly communicate and document decisions based on objective criteria.
For more information, see Data Strategy Design.
Starting position for the Priority Matrix is a collection of ideas, tasks or other items which have been for example collected by a team during brainstorming. Examples are:
- possible products or services on a Analytics Use Case
- data-driven use cases as part of a Data Strategy
- possible optimizations of Customer Touchpoints
- tasks to be done
The next step is to identify, out of all these ideas and/ or tasks, the ones to which the team should dedicate its future attention and time.
For this you need to define two factors together with the team which determine the prioritization. Afterwards you label the axes of the Priority Matrix (left side & lower side) with cards respectively.
Examples of prioritization factors are:
- for tasks: urgency and importance
- for ideas: feasibility and (positive) impact
- for projects: costs and benefits
If there are more than two proposals for suitable factors, just let the team vote and select the two most voted factors.
Now place the first card exactly in the middle of the Priority Matrix where the four quadrants (I, II, III and IV) meet.
Ask the team: "How does this task/idea do regarding the first factor? Above or below average?" Move the card on the X-axis accordingly until the team agrees on its horizontal position.
Proceed with the second factor and its vertical position in the same way, meaning to position it on the Y-axis accordingly.
SECOND, THIRD AND FURTHER CARDS
Repeat this procedure (questioning and positioning of card as described above) for every further idea or task. If the team is not sure about a card's position, you can ask: "How do you evaluate the current card's position in relative to the first, second and so forth card, regarding the first and respectively the second factor?"
It's crucial that the cards' relative position reflects the teams' assessment.
Therefore, at the end of the process when all ideas, tasks etc. have been placed on the Priority Matrix, you should (again) ask the question if every card's position does reflect its relative position compared to the others. If necessary you need to readjust a card's position. Finally you select those cards which should be the team's focus during the rest of the workshop. Usually those are the cards in the upper right quadrant (number II), for instance the tasks with a high importance and high urgency.
In case there are no cards in this quadrant, jut choose the cards in the lower right one (number IV) or the cards in the upper left one (number I) as an alternative.
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The Priority Matrix template is based on the Eisenhower Method (cf. Wikipedia).
English - Priority Matrix
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