This is a very useful tool to prioritize projects – those with a LOW effort and HIGH impact are your low-hanging fruit, while those that are HIGH effort and LOW impact should be reconsidered doing at all.
Using the Impact / Effort Matrix
Great for brainstorming with a team – get ALL ideas out on the table then as a group determine the impact and effort of each one. A 6-hats exercise is a great way to discuss feasibility of projects from a critical-thinking aspect.
- Propose a focus question – a problem to be solved.
- Give each participant a sticky note and a marker.
- Brainstorm silently – have each participant write one idea per sticky note. Throw aside conventional thinking and have them think of anything at all that might solve the problem.
- Have each participant place their sticky note in the box they feel it fits in, based on level of difficulty and amount of impact it would have.
- Together, discuss each idea and determine if it is the correct box. The goal is to have a small number in the HIGH/HIGH box that can feasibly be implemented.
Once projects have been prioritized you can begin project planning.