A priority matrix is a management tool for determining the development vector where priorities are visually divided into four (or more) quadrants.
There are matrices for personal time management and complex business projects. Most of them have derived from the Eisenhower matrix created to manage personal tasks.
Use an action priority matrix when you have limited resources and you want to distribute them rationally to maximize performance and ROI.
Placing backlog tasks into four quadrants will help you visualize their impact on the main business objectives. Focus the team efforts on one of the four quadrants to have a clear understanding of where you’re heading, what results, and when to expect.
One of the most efficient and easy to use is the 2x2 matrix. It consists of two evaluation criteria: one positive (e.g., Value, Impact, or Revenue) and one negative(e.g., Effort, Costs, or Risk).
Tasks evaluated by the criteria are divided into four quadrants:
Do you have deadlines, and time is critical? Or you must avoid risks at all costs?
Two criteria are enough for a fast and simple prioritization. Yet, they aren’t enough for complex projects where you must consider and juggle multiple stages of user behavior or business objectives. We in Ducalis.io estimate all the vital elements for our product and just filter the matrix by the criteria we need more focus on at some point in time.
What numbers will your team use when estimating the criteria?
Each criterion should be evaluated by the same numbers with prescribed interpretation. We use numbers from 0 to 3 where 0—no impact, 1—low impact, 2—medium impact, 3—high impact.
Who takes part in the project and can bring a unique perspective to the table? Does the project require only engineers or designers and copywriters’ efforts as well?
Considering each task by the whole team strengthens your shared understanding and gives the best prioritization results. In our team, managers evaluate feature Reach and Revenue, engineers and UX/UI—Development Time, and everybody must estimate Activation, Retention, and two product-specific criteria, Speed and Collaboration.
Why have these features made it to the top? Do you all agree they are most valuable now and must be implemented?
Never take the prioritization result into work unquestioningly. Prioritization is a tool to help you make the right decisions and not make them instead of you. Discuss your top priorities with the team at the planning meeting and make sure you all understand what must be done, why this way, and why it’s important.
A priority matrix is simple and efficient. You can make it far more powerful by using automation tools. Ducalis.io allows you to create a complex prioritization framework you can use both as a weighted decision matrix and action priority matrix and switch the criteria focus in no time.
Try our matrix templates. Free to sign up and free to use. No credit cards. Just jump in and prioritize for your growth.
Bug fixes are unavoidable. But they require a lot of your team's time, and if your human resources aren't unlimited, you have to prioritize bugs as well as everything else.
We tend to be very emotional about bugs. Sometimes even more than about new fancy features. Developers are overly concerned about their virtual child and want it to run smoothly. Managers are excessively worried about the user experience spoiled, which may lead to business losses. Together we want all the bugs to be fixed right now!
Luckily, bug prioritization is a bit simpler than features or marketing. There are usually two bug prioritization criteria we all agree upon:
Frequency — How often the bad happens.
Severity — how bad is the bad.
Of course, we may consider more factors to make the prioritization deeper. We may calculate possible business losses and/or job size to achieve the highest economic benefit. It all depends on how complex is the product, how often new bugs appear, and how many resources you can allocate.
The golden rule—prioritize fast. It would be best if you could calculate the bug urgency as soon as it was reported.
Make it easier and faster with prioritization tools. Choose from our bug prioritization templates, and you are ready to go—report bugs and prioritize them quickly in one place.