2x2-Prioritization-matrix-web2x2-Prioritization-matrix-web

2x2 Prioritization Matrix Template

Help your team base important decisions on weighted criteria.

About the 2x2 Prioritization Matrix Template

The 2x2 prioritization matrix, or lean prioritization approach, is a tool that helps teams decide what to tackle next in their product backlog. 

The method is a quick, efficient way for your team to focus on features most likely to be valuable to your customers versus effort actually taken to deliver those features. 

Any team applying lean start-up methodologies can also use this matrix to make decisions and figure out where to focus their efforts in relation to where the risk is, or where the most valuable opportunities are. 

If you need a matrix that accommodates different phases or iterations, and granularity of effort versus value (from high to low), you may be looking for a 3x3 prioritization method.

Keep reading to learn more about the 2x2 prioritization matrix.

What is a 2x2 prioritization matrix

This model is a priority matrix that can help product managers determine priorities, and is also suitable for anyone leading projects and initiatives who needs help deciding what their team should focus on. A 2x2 prioritization matrix typically has 4 segments representing varying levels of effort and value:

  • Big bets, aka “do it next”: 

  • product features or tasks that are valuable but difficult to implement

  • Quick wins, or “do it now”: 

  • product features or tasks that are valuable and easy to implement

  • Time sinks, aka “don’t do it”: 

  • product features or tasks that aren’t worth investing in right now

  • Maybes, or “do if or when there’s time”:

  •  low-value tasks that can be returned to later on

The value parameter considers the business value of your product feature or idea. The effort parameter considers resources (like time, money, people) that may be needed to finish the tasks outlined.

When to use the 2x2 prioritization matrix

Agile development teams can use the 2x2 prioritization matrix to decide which features, fixes, and upgrades to work on next. This framework can help you decide the least amount of features you need to launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), or prioritize tasks for an upcoming Agile sprint.

Whether you’re a product manager or leading a new business initiative, it’s worth considering how each idea informs each of these elements:

  • Acquisition (gaining new customers)

  • Activation (when customers understand the value of the product or feature)

  • Reach (how many customers are impacted)

  • Revenue (the profitability of a product or feature)

  • Retention (returning, active customers)

  • Virality (influence or “stickiness” of the product or service)

Teams can also use the matrix to make business decisions such as:

  • New markets worth pursuing and prioritizing 

  • Campaigns and messaging to invest in 

  • Departments, functions, or capabilities worth building or expanding on next

Ideally, a 2x2 prioritization matrix helps your team create boundaries around what is realistic to tackle, and develop clarity and consensus around what’s most important for success, versus nice-to-have or unnecessary. 

Create your own 2x2 prioritization matrix

Making your own 2x2 prioritization matrix is easy. Miro’s whiteboard tool is the perfect canvas to create and share it. Get started by selecting the 2x2 Prioritization Matrix Template, then take the following steps to make one of your own.

  1. Define your business value.

  2. Ideally, tie the value of a product feature or initiative to how your organization drives value. Discuss with your team whether you’re looking at strategic, customer, or financial value. Edit the value parameter text as needed. 

  3. Define your risks.

  4. Risks usually come in the form of implementation (complexity, cost, or effort) and business-related (failure to adapt to change, compliance needs, or operational issues). Consider both. Discuss with your team which are more likely to impact plans. Edit the risks text as needed. 

  5. Edit your priority categories as needed

  6. You can also label the quadrants “Challenge,” “Implement,” “Reconsider,” and “Possible.” Brainstorm with your team about what action words best fit your product or initiative. 

Confirm and reach consensus on priorities. The matrix brings reason and logic to a team dynamic. Everyone may have different opinions when first planning, but ideally you want to end sessions with shared language: “low hanging fruit,” “hot zone,” “special investments,” “possible but low-value,” “more research before committing,” “only if extra budget and time are available,” and “not right now.” Think of these phrases as a spectrum between effort and value. Make decisions and investments accordingly.

2x2 Prioritization Matrix Template

Get started with this template right now. It’s free

Related Templates
impact-mapping-thumb-webimpact-mapping-thumb-web
PreviewMore info

Impact Mapping

When you’re building products and shipping goods (oh, and everything in between) there’s nothing more important than staying organized and on-task. Impact mapping is a great way to do it. This trusty product planning technique creates a graphical representation of all your goals and the steps it’ll take to reach each one — so you can clearly communicate with your teammates, align on business objectives, and build better roadmaps. Our template will help you do impact mapping for any type of project planning.

Impact Mapping
4Ls Retrospective Thumbnail4Ls Retrospective Thumbnail
PreviewMore info

4P Marketing Mix

So you just completed a sprint. Teams busted their humps and emotions ran high. Now take a clear-eyed look back and grade the sprint honestly—what worked, what didn’t, and what can be improved. This approach (4Ls stand for liked, learned, lacked, and longed for) is an invaluable way to remove the emotion and look at the process critically. That’s how you can build trust, improve morale, and increase engagement—as well as make adjustments to be more productive and successful in the future.

4P Marketing Mix
entity-relationship-diagram-thumb-webentity-relationship-diagram-thumb-web
PreviewMore info

Entity Relationship Diagram

Sometimes the most important relationships in business are the internal ones—between the teams, entities, and actors within a system. An entity relationship diagram (ERD) is a structural diagram that will help you visualize and understand the many complex connections between different roles. When will an ERD come in handy? It’s a great tool to have for educating and onboarding new employees or members of a team, and our template makes it so easy to customize according to your unique needs.

Entity Relationship Diagram
executive-summary-thumb-webexecutive-summary-thumb-web
PreviewMore info

Executive Summary

Pique their curiosity. Get them excited. Inspire them to keep reading, diving further into your proposal details. That’s what a good executive summary has the power to do—and why it’s a crucial opening statement for business plans, project plans, investment proposals, and more. Use this template to create an executive summary that starts building belief, by answering high-level questions that include: What is your project? What are the goals? How will you bring your skills and resources to the project? And who can expect to benefit?

Executive Summary
milestone-chart-thumb-webmilestone-chart-thumb-web
PreviewMore info

Milestone Chart

When your team is collaborating on a large project, keeping track of the many tasks and multiple timelines can be a challenge. That’s why you need a milestone chart. These visual representations of important project events will make it simple for your team to stay on schedule and reach goals on time. And it’s so easy to get started — just determine the major milestones, use our template to create a milestone chart, and define the key dates and deliverables each milestone will require.

Milestone Chart
product-market-fit-canvas-thumb-webproduct-market-fit-canvas-thumb-web
PreviewMore info

Product/Market Fit Canvas

The product/market fit canvas template is used to help product teams meet customer and market needs with their product design. This template looks at a product in two dimensions: first, how the product fits user needs, and second, how the fully designed product fits within the market landscape. This combined metric understands a product holistically from the way customers use and desire a product, to the market demand. By comparing customer and product qualities side by side, users should better understand their product space and key metrics.

Product/Market Fit Canvas