Importance/difficulty matrix

The Importance/Difficulty Matrix is a strategic tool that facilitates decision-making in problem-solving scenarios. It involves categorizing tasks or problems based on their importance and difficulty, two factors that, while operating independently, must be jointly considered when formulating an action plan. By employing this method, your team will be compelled to prioritize ideas within these two dimensions. The outcome is a well-ordered list of tasks, providing you with a clear roadmap of which issues should be addressed first, followed by the next, and so on. This matrix not only helps in prioritizing tasks effectively but also ensures that resources are allocated efficiently, leading to improved productivity and better results.

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How to use
  • Identify the tasks, actions, or decisions to be analyzed. 
  • Write each item on a separate sticky note. 
  • Draw a 2x2 matrix on a large board or wall. Label the x axis as 'Importance' and the y axis as 'Difficulty'. 
  • Order the stickies along the x axis first, then begin moving them vertically based on their relative difficulty. The closer to the top-right, the more important and difficult the task. 
  • Discuss and adjust placement as necessary, then use the matrix to inform prioritization and action. 
  • Aids in decision making and prioritization. 
  • Helps allocate resources efficiently. 
  • Visualizes and quantifies task importance and difficulty.
  • The matrix should be considered as a guide, not an absolute determinant. 
  • Ensure everyone involved agrees with the placement of the sticky notes. 
  • Follow up methods: Round Robin, Problem Tree Analysis.

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