Impact Effort MatrixImpact Effort Matrix

Impact/Effort Matrix Template

Clearly define the impact and effort of activities to help your team prioritize.

About the impact effort matrix template

What is an impact effort matrix template?

This template is for use by any team that would like to align their priorities and get projects on track while reducing wasted time and energy. 

Benefits of creating an impact effort matrix

Many teams find that the impact effort matrix is a valuable decision-making tool that helps them optimize limited time and resources while providing a visual guide to everything from daily to-do lists to more complex strategic plans.

Prioritize tasks

One major benefit of creating an impact effort matrix is that it forces teams or individuals to prioritize tasks based on what will most help them achieve their ultimate goals. Prioritizing in this way will help teams identify the most fruitful ways to spend their time. 

Maximize efficiency and impact

A properly done impact effort matrix also allows teams to assess how they’re spending their time and find ways to reduce waste. Classifying tasks by which will have the most impact on the team mission or goal helps identify which tasks or undertakings aren’t productive enough to be worthwhile.

Align goals

An impact effort matrix will also help various stakeholders on a team align their goals and priorities by measuring exactly how much impact each effort will have on the advancement of team goals. 

When to use an impact effort matrix

An impact effort matrix is best used when a team or employee has multiple potential courses of action they can take or tasks they can complete, and has to decide on the best ways to allocate their time to maximize impact. In scenarios where time and resources are limited, an impact effort matrix can help teams prioritize tasks and find the most efficient path towards achieving overall goals. 

How to create an impact effort matrix

Creating an impact effort matrix is simple and straightforward with Miro’s template:

Step 1: Get the whole team together

To start, make sure that all the relevant parties are present at the beginning of the session. It’s critical that the matrix is filled out by actual stakeholders with skin-in-the-game who have a firsthand perspective on how tasks are completed and how much effort goes into them.

Step 2: Identify objectives and team goals

Have the team brainstorm what their main objectives and team goals are. This allows the team to align on the overall mission.

Step 3: Create a 4 quadrant chart

The impact effort matrix is plotted on 2 axes: the level of effort involved in a task, and the level of potential impact completion of the task can have. The 4 quadrants are: quick wins (maximum impact, minimal effort), major projects (maximum impact, maximum effort), fill ins (minimal impact minimal effort), and time wasters (minimum impact, maximum effort).

Step 4: Add individual tasks into one of the 4 quadrants

Plot any tasks that the team was planning or considering onto the matrix depending on how much effort and impact each action can have. Make sure to closely review with the whole team to be certain.

Step 5: Create an action plan based on your results

With an understanding of the impact and effort of all tasks, you can prioritize them and determine which tasks deserve the most time and resources in the future.

FAQs about impact effort matrix

What are the 4 quadrants of an impact effort matrix?

The 4 quadrants are: low-effort and low-impact, high-effort and low-impact, low-impact and high-effort, and high-impact and high-effort.

How does an impact effort matrix work?

An impact effort matrix works by plotting all the various tasks related for a project on a matrix with two axes: level of effort and level of impact. Sorting tasks in this way helps teams with prioritization and reducing waste.

Impact/Effort Matrix Template

Get started with this template right now.

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