Cracking The Impact Effort (Value) Prioritization Matrix Secret

Do you want a quick way to find low-hanging fruit in your project? Find out how to identify and prioritize these tasks with a free professional template.

Value vs. Effort Matrix
template for →
Rice Framework
Table of Content
Arrow Down
Value vs. Effort Matrix
template for →

What is the Impact Effort Matrix

Impact Effort (or Value Effort, or Value Complexity) matrix is a lean prioritization tool that helps you visually divide the backlog into four parts depending on the task ROI:
  • Quick Wins that provide maximum benefits with low efforts required.
  • Major Projects that provide long-term returns but require more investments.
  • Fill-Ins that are cheap to implement but don’t give much in return.
  • Time-Sinks that require a lot of investments and provide minimal benefits.
The Chart Matrix view

In the Chart view issues are spread across the matrix diagram in the form of color-coded bubbles. This view gives you a detailed illustration of how the issues are spread out, and where exactly each issue falls on the matrix grid.

With the List view, you can see the issues falling into each quadrant in the form of a list. The Issues in the list are arranged in order of priority, with the top priority issue at the top.

The list matrix view

Who can use the Impact Effort Matrix

Anybody can use the Impact Effort matrix to prioritize anything from personal to-dos to complex business projects to maximize productivity.

How to use the Impact Effort Matrix Template

1. Prepare a list of tasks to prioritize

Decide on the backlog scope requiring prioritization. Get the tasks into the template by:

  1. Importing from a task tracker
  2. Importing from a spreadsheet
  3. Creating new tasks in the template

2. Evaluate by the whole team

Each task must be estimated from 0 to 3 by two criteria: Impact and Effort. Best when evaluated by every member of the project.

  • Impact — How big is the value for the main business objective?
    0 — no impact
    1 — low
    2 — medium
    3 — high
  • Effort — How many resources will the implementation require?
    0 — no real efforts
    1 — low
    2 — medium
    3 — high

3. Discuss the priorities

After evaluation, all the tasks will be placed into the four quadrants according to the scores they got:

  • Quick Wins — high impact and low effort.
  • Major Projects — high impact and high effort.
  • Fill-Ins — low impact and low effort.
  • Thankless Tasks — low impact and high effort.
When you hover over a bubble a tooltip appears with a summary of the issue(s) on that bubble.

Discuss with the team whether you all agree with the priorities you got. Don’t take the results into work unquestioningly.

Create Account for Free
Request a Demo

Start prioritizing today

No Credit card required

Value vs. Effort Matrix
template for →