2x2-Prioritization-matrix-web

2x2 Prioritization Matrix Template

Help your team base important decisions on weighted criteria.

About the 2x2 Prioritization Matrix

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 virtual collaboration platform 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.

Step 1: Define your business value

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.

Step 2: Define your risks

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.

Step 3: Edit your priority categories as needed

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.

Step 4: 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.

Related Templates
Whats on your Radar Thumbnail
Preview

What's on Your Radar Template

Works best for:

Business Management, Operations, Strategic Planning

Do you or your team feel overburdened by tasks? Having trouble focusing on particular problems? What’s on Your Radar is a thought exercise in which you plot ideas according to their importance or relevance. Designers and teams use what’s on your radar to ensure that their ideas are within the scope of a given project. They also rely on the method to assess whether a given solution is likely to solve the problem at hand. But even if you’re not a designer, the method can help assign priorities and ground your ideas in reality.

What's on Your Radar Template
event-planning-thumb-web
Preview

Event Planning Template

Works best for:

Planning, Workshops

Whether you’re planning a product launch, fully remote conference, or milestone event, the Event Planning Template will act as a visual checklist and map for all the details you need to consider before the big day. The Event Planning Template is an adaptable way to make sure the creative and strategic vision of your event doesn’t get lost in the details. By mapping out different sections - from the marketing plan, to the agenda, to snacks and swag for guests — you and your team can focus on the details most important to your functions, and collaborate as needed when overlaps occur.

Event Planning Template
Brainwriting Thumbnail
Preview

Brainwriting Template

Works best for:

Education, Ideation, Brainstorming

Brainstorming is such a big part of ideation. But not everyone does their best work out loud and on the spot, yelling out thoughts and building on others’ ideas. Brainwriting is a brilliant solution for them—creative thinkers who happen to be more introverted. This approach and template invites participants to reflect quietly and write out their ideas, and then pass them to someone else who will read the idea and add to it. So you’ll get creative ideas from everyone—not just the loudest few.

Brainwriting Template
Fishbone Diagram Thumbnail
Preview

Fishbone Diagram Template

Works best for:

Operations, Diagrams, Workflows

What is the best way to solve any problem your team faces? Go straight to the root. That means identifying the root causes of the problem, and fishbone diagrams are designed to help you do it best. Also known as the Ishikawa Diagram (named after Japanese quality control expert Kaoru Ishikawa), fishbone diagrams allow teams to visualize all possible causes of a problem, to explore and understand how they fit together holistically. Teams can also use fishbone diagrams as a starting point for thinking about what the root cause of a future problem might be.

Fishbone Diagram Template
idea-funnel-backlog-thumb-web
Preview

Idea Funnel Backlog

Works best for:

Design, Brainstorming, Agile Workflows

An Idea Funnel Backlog enables you to visualize your backlog and restrict the number of backlogged items at the top. In doing sos, you can prioritize items on your list without having to engage in unnecessary meetings or create too much operational overhead. To use the Idea Funnel Backlog, break up the funnel into different phases or treat it like a roadmap. Use the Idea Funnel Backlog as a hybrid model that combines your roadmap and backlog into one easily digestible format.

Idea Funnel Backlog
RACI Matrix Thumbnail
Preview

RACI Matrix Template

Works best for:

Leadership, Decision Making, Org Charts

The RACI Matrix is an essential management tool that helps teams keep track of roles and responsibilities and can avoid confusion during projects. The acronym RACI stands for Responsible (the person who does the work to achieve the task and is responsible for getting the work done or decision made); Accountable (the person who is accountable for the correct and thorough completion of the task); Consulted (the people who provide information for the project and with whom there is two-way communication); Informed (the people who are kept informed of progress and with whom there is one-way communication).

RACI Matrix Template