A 2x2 matrix for prioritizing items by value and effort. Useful for product management and general decision making.
To help a team identify what to work on next
As part of a prioritization session
The Lean Prioritization Matrix is an effective decision making tool, helping make clear comparisons between your backlog features. It will take between 45-90 minutes, depending on the size of your backlog!
Rank your features by value and ease to implement, into one of the four quadrants:
1. Top left is Quick Wins - high value, easy to implement items.
2. Top right is Major Strategic items - high value but more complex so plan accordingly.
3. Bottom left is 'Filler' Tasks - lower value tasks that are easy to complete - do these in the quieter periods.
4. Bottom right is Time Sinks - avoid or de-prioritize these items.
The value ranking of a feature is not a decision made on the spot, but is measured against a combination of factors that should be decided before using the prioritisation matrix. This will be different to every team (and we encourage you to develop your own) but examples could be your OKRs, the pirate 'AAARRR' metrics, or your product goals.
Equally, effort can be difficult to quantify. We suggest looking back at your implemented features and finding an representative for each level of effort. Place these on the matrix and compare each feature against those. This is not a scientific effort intended to be 100% accurate, but a measure intended to help visualise and decide. You can refine as you place more features on the matrix.
Updating your matrix
Revisit the priority matrix after some time and update your 'done' items to reflect how easy they were to implement and how valuable they turned out to be. You'll find that items will shift around the quadrants, giving you a better baseline for future prioritization.