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2x2 Prioritization Matrix Template

Facilitate your team in making informed decisions by using a system of weighted criteria.

About the 2x2 Prioritization Matrix Template

The 2x2 prioritization matrix, also known as the lean prioritization approach, is a tool that helps teams prioritize items in their product backlog. It enables teams to focus on features that are most valuable to customers in relation to the effort required to deliver them. This method is particularly useful for teams following lean start-up methodologies as it helps them identify high-risk areas and valuable opportunities. However, if you require a matrix that considers different phases or iterations and varying levels of effort and value, you may need to consider using a 3x3 prioritization method.

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What is a 2x2 prioritization matrix

The 2x2 prioritization matrix is a tool that helps product managers and project leaders prioritize tasks and initiatives for their teams. It is comprised of four segments, each representing different levels of effort and value.

"Big bets" or "do it next"

Represents tasks or features that are highly valuable but also difficult to implement. These may require significant resources or time to complete, but are important enough to be prioritized as the next focus for the team.

"Quick wins" or "do it now"

Represents tasks or features that are highly valuable and also easy to implement. These are the low-hanging fruit that can be tackled quickly and provide immediate value to the product or project.

"Time sinks" or "don't do it"

Represents tasks or features that are not worth investing in at the moment. These may require too many resources or not provide enough value to justify their completion at this time.

"Maybes" or "do if or when there's time"

Represents low-value tasks that can be returned to at a later time. These tasks may not be a priority, but can be completed if time and resources allow.

The two parameters used to determine the placement of tasks or features within the matrix are value and effort. The value parameter considers the potential business value of the task or feature, while the effort parameter considers the resources, including time, money, and people, that will be needed to complete the task or feature. By considering both parameters, teams can prioritize tasks and features that provide the most value with the least amount of effort.

When to use the 2x2 prioritization matrix

The 2x2 prioritization matrix template can be used in a variety of situations to help teams make decisions and prioritize tasks. Here are some scenarios where using the 2x2 prioritization matrix template may be beneficial:

  • Product development

    When developing a new product or feature, the 2x2 prioritization matrix can help product managers and teams determine which features to focus on based on their potential value and effort required to implement.

  • Project management

    Project managers can use the matrix to prioritize tasks and determine which ones should be tackled first based on their impact and level of effort required.

  • Resource allocation

    When resources are limited, the 2x2 prioritization matrix can help teams determine where to allocate their time and budget most effectively based on the value and effort required for each task.

  • Decision-making

    The 2x2 prioritization matrix can be used to make decisions in a variety of settings, such as choosing between different marketing strategies or deciding which initiatives to pursue.

  • Risk management

    When assessing potential risks, the 2x2 prioritization matrix can help teams prioritize risks based on their likelihood and potential impact on the project or organization.

In summary, the 2x2 prioritization matrix template can be used in many different scenarios where decision-making and prioritization are necessary. It can help teams focus on the most valuable and impactful tasks while considering the resources required to complete them.

Create your own 2x2 prioritization matrix

Creating your own 2x2 prioritization matrix is a simple process, and FigJam’s virtual collaboration platform provides the perfect space to create and share one. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Write down your business value

Connect the value of a product feature or initiative to how your organization generates value. Identify whether you're looking at strategic, customer, or financial value, and edit the value parameter text accordingly.

Step 2: Identify your risks

Consider both implementation (complexity, cost, or effort) and business-related risks (such as failure to adapt to change, compliance needs, or operational issues). Discuss with your team which risks are more likely to impact your plans, and edit the risks text as needed.

Step 3: Customize your priority categories

Feel free to label the quadrants whatever best fits your product or initiative, such as "Challenge," "Implement," "Reconsider," and "Possible." Brainstorm with your team to come up with the best action words.

Step 4: Discuss priorities

The matrix brings logic and reason to team decision-making. While everyone may have different opinions at the beginning, aim to end the session with shared language that aligns effort and value.

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