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7 Steps to Using Prioritization Matrices

Prioritization matrices help make decisions after key actions, formulating a clear guide to the work that has more value and importance than others. However, creating and utilizing a prioritization matrix isn't always a simple matter. This post by Steven Bonacorsi explains, in a step by step way, what is needed to start using (and benefiting  from prioritization matrices, including the value and reason behind using this tool:

Any time a choice must be made, some form of prioritization occurs. Those responsible for making the choice may play a hunch, take a vote or analyze for some specific impact they think is important, but they will decide what they think is best, most important or should be done first. If the prioritization process is incomplete or arbitrary, chances of success are lessened.
The discipline of a prioritization matrix allows you to avoid setting arbitrary priorities that have less likelihood of helping you reach your desired objectives. The Full Analytical Method does take considerable time and effort, however, and should be used only if the risks or potential benefits make it worthwhile.
The tips, which each build on the tip previous to it, include:

  1. Agree on the ultimate objective
  2. List criteria needed to meet the goal
  3. Compare the importance of criteria
  4. Evaluate Options against the weighted criteria
  5. Evaluate criteria against all other criteria
  6. Compare possible choices for the remaining criteria
  7. Bring it all together

 Using visual examples as well as easy-to-understand explanations, this post is a great start to both understanding and implementing this time saving, business aligning tool. In particular, the prioritization matrix can help find decisions when the solution is known but the importance of taking action is yet to be clarified.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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