Difficulty & Importance Matrix: the task prioritization matrix


Difficulty & Importance Matrix

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Use the Difficulty & Importance matrix to channel and leverage your team’s enthusiasm, by first ranking ideas in order of importance before jointly assessing their feasibility. Compare this data, visible at a glance, in the matrix, for good time and priority management. A design thinking method accessible to everyone!

A quick and effective task prioritization matrix

When you start a new project as a team, often the ideas flow freely, and that’s a good sign! But to move forward effectively, it is essential to prioritize the actions to be taken. Several design thinking methods can help you do this, such as this Difficulty & Importance Matrix template.

How do you prioritize tasks? As a team, rank them in order of importance, and then assess their feasibility. The simple visual design and features of Board, Klaxoon’s whiteboard, help you to work as a team easily, in person or remotely, to compare your data in the matrix. The horizontal axis represents the importance; the vertical axis represents the difficulty. This way, you can thus visualize priorities at a glance.

It’s an accessible design thinkingmethod, which is easy to set up and can be used at different times of your project management: at the launch of a new project, for the development of a new service, product or feature etc., and even on a daily basis for better time and priority management.

Why use this design thinking tool, inspired by the Eisenhower matrix

For effective collaboration, it is essential to properly organize the team’s schedule and tasks. It’s a breeze with this task prioritization matrix.

The Importance/Difficulty Matrix template, inspired by the Eisenhower Matrix, can also get you out of a tough spot, because a project can quickly come to a standstill in the absence of an effective prioritization method. Be it app features, ideas or goals, everything can be reorganized using this tool. It's the perfect way to resolve any number of situations and reenergize project management.

In addition, as the method requires you to rank the items in order of importance first, this gives the team an opportunity to discuss them and reach a consensus. This way, the project continues in a spirit of agreement and understanding, thus maximizing the chances of success.

By following the steps of this priority management tool in turn, you categorize items in the four boxes of the matrix: luxury, strategic, distraction and high value. Because the mechanisms of influence, conscious or unconscious bias, come into play when you really make the items with high added value stand out.

Visually place your ideas on the map to assess their status combining their difficulty and importance.

Using Klaxoon's Importance/Difficulty Matrix template

Start by inviting your team members to Board, Klaxoon's whiteboard tool. Define and explain the topic or project on which you will work as a team.

Then, invite participants to post their ideas in the box below the graphic inspired by the Eisenhower matrix. Next, discuss how to rank each item according to its importance, from least important (left) to most important (right). To discuss it verbally, you can even organize a virtual or hybrid meeting with Klaxoon's videoconferencing tool Live.

Next, assess the difficulty of each idea. To do this, ask a Rating Question using the Question tool under each idea. Klaxoon offers you a rating of one to five stars, with five corresponding to the highest level of difficulty. Assessing the difficulty can be based on many factors, such as the cost of construction or implementation, the impact on your economic model, the effort required to maintain support for this item etc. To help you decide, you can establish some guidelines on the whiteboard.

To finish this design thinking workshop, compare the data by placing the items according to their level of difficulty on the matrix. Be sure to only place them on the vertical axis at this stage; they must keep their horizontal position so as not to lose their importance ranking. Priorities appear as if by magic: now, all you have to do is focus on strategic and high-value ideas, and choose luxury or distraction items or not. Over to you!

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