Eisenhower matrix or box (aka Importance Urgency matrix) is a prioritization tool that helps you visually divide a task list into four parts depending on the best sequence of action: Do First, Schedule, Delegate, Don’t Do.
A matrix is a great tool to slice and dice your backlog into four parts and gives you a bird’s eye view of all your tasks and their impact. Such clear visual representation is convenient when building plans and strategies.
Anybody can use the Importance Urgency matrix to prioritize anything from personal to-dos to job duties for best productivity. The matrix can be applied to both daily or weekly tasks and monthly or yearly projects as well.
First of all, decide on the task list requiring prioritization. You can get the tasks into the template in 3 ways:
The template has super-standard criteria scored from 0 to 3:
Importance—How important is it for the main objective?
Urgency—How urgent is it? Is there a deadline soon?
These descriptions are too general and hard to estimate. Important for what objective? It means you should at least always keep it in mind. And if you evaluate with a team? Every member will have their own idea of ‘Importance’. In the end, such estimations won’t make any sense.
Pinpoint your main objective your tasks must influence to help you prioritize better. Our templates are fully customizable and we recommend you adjust criteria descriptions.
You can evaluate all tasks by yourself, but if it’s a team project, it’s best when every team member assigns their scores.
After the assessment, all the tasks will be placed into the four quadrants according to the scores they got:
Inside each quadrant, the tasks are also listed by their significance. You can pick top tasks from several quadrants, or choose one quadrant of focus, expand it full screen, and complete only its tasks.
But please don’t forget—prioritization is just a tool to help you decide, not decide for you. So if you think that one task is more important than the other and must be done first—so be it. Discuss your priorities with the team. At the end of the day, collaborative prioritization is the best tool for team clarity and shared understanding.
This template is great for teams that need a business-driven prioritization for maximum economic benefit. It works for evaluating features, projects, user stories, ideas, and hypotheses.
Produce maximum economic benefit with Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) framework, aka CD3 - Cost of Delay Divided by Duration. Estimate how much you may lose (CoD) and how much time you need for implementation.
✅️️ Focuses on increasing the ROI with limited human resources.
✅️ Same score scales help to achieve higher consistency in calculations and predictability of results.
❌ Time-consuming prioritization since considers many factors.
❌ Subjective estimation. Scores may be manipulated.
Note! The template is fully customizable. You can change it for your convenience.
The evaluation results are available in two views: Top Priorities and Matrix. They calculate priorities differently and have different features for decision-making. You can easily switch between the view tabs—they are always available inside any board.
The Top Priorities page calculates weighted decisions and displays them in a list. The main factor is the weight setting of the criterion as it determines its influence: how positive or how negative. All scores are multiplied by the weight.
The calculation formula in this template is Value Sum divided by Effort:
( (Business value Score * 1) + (User value Score * 1) + (Time criticality Score * 1) + (Risk reduction Score * 1) + (Opportunity enablement Score * 1) ) / (Job Size Score * 1) = WSJF Score
The Matrix page calculates non-weighted decisions and displays them in a 2x2 matrix. The main factor is the impact setting of the criterion as it determines its axis: value or effort. The scores are not multiplied by the weight.
On the Matrix page, Business value, User value, Time criticality, Risk reduction, Opportunity enablement, and Job Size work as filters. Toggle the criteria to count or discount when distributing tasks among the quadrants: Quick Wins, Major Projects, Fill-Ins, Thankless Tasks. You can rename the quadrants at your convenience.
You can use a Ducalis.io evaluation board by creating new tasks in it or uploading a spreadsheet.
You can also connect your team’s task tracker to get awesome benefits.
Connect your task tracker for the automatic sync. Set up the filter once, and tasks inside Ducalis.io will always mirror your actual backlog.
If you connect your backlog to sync tasks with Ducalis.io, you can also sync Ducalis.io priorities back. Evaluate tasks and send their ranking to the task tracker to sort the backlog by priority, and for the whole team to see what’s important.