Impact Effort Matrix

Impact/Effort Matrix Template

Help your team prioritize their work by defining the impact and effort of your activities.

About the impact effort matrix template

Are you struggling to prioritize tasks? Or do you want to identify activities that’ll give your customers the best experience? An impact effort matrix could be exactly what you need.

Use the Impact Effort Matrix Template to prioritize your work based on the effort it takes and the impact it’ll have on your customers. Align your priorities and get projects on track while reducing wasted time and energy.

What is an impact effort matrix template?

An impact effort matrix (also known as an action priority matrix) is a decision-making tool. Filling out this Impact Effort Matrix Template helps team leaders prioritize the following:

  • Tasks and projects that yield the best results in the least amount of time

  • Projects that’ll take longer but are still worth doing

  • Tasks and projects that’ll have little impact on your customers

The matrix is split into four quadrants:

Minimal-effort and low-impact: Also known as fill-ins, these activities require little work and have little impact on your customers.

Maximum-effort and low-impact: Tasks that require a lot of time and effort on your part but have little impact on your customers. They’re also known as time-wasters or thankless tasks.

High-impact and minimum-effort: These tasks are your quick wins. They’re actions that impact your customers significantly and don’t require a lot of work from you.

High-impact and maximum-effort: Major projects that need a lot of attention but have a large impact on your customers.

Using these quadrants, you can easily visualize which tasks will reap the greatest benefits for your customers.

How do you create an effort impact matrix?

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

Step 1: Get the whole team together. It’s vital that the matrix is filled out by actual stakeholders with skin in the game. Why? Because they have a firsthand perspective on how tasks are completed and how much effort is required. 

Step 2: Identify objectives and team goals. Have a brainstorming session to identify the main objectives and team goals. This aligns the team on the overall mission.

Step 3: Create a four-quadrant chart. The impact effort matrix is plotted on two axes: the level of effort involved in a task and the level of potential impact completion of the task can have. The quadrants are already mapped out in our template, so you don’t have to worry about creating it from scratch. 

Step 4: Add individual tasks into one of the four quadrants.Plot your tasks onto the matrix depending on how much effort and impact each action can have. Closely review each placement with the whole team to make sure everyone agrees. 

Step 5: Create an action plan based on your results. With an understanding of the impact and effort of all tasks, you can determine which tasks deserve the most time and resources in the future.

When to use an impact effort matrix

There are a few situations where using an impact effort matrix is helpful: 

  • Resource allocation: If your time and resources are limited, the matrix is incredibly helpful. For example, if you have multiple courses of action to consider, you can use the matrix to find the best option and allocate your resources accordingly. 

  • To prioritize tasks: An impact effort matrix helps you prioritize tasks and find the most efficient path towards reaching your goals. You can focus on quick wins and see results as quickly as possible. 

  • To understand customer needs: Using the matrix gives you a better understanding of what your customers are looking for. You put yourself in their shoes to see what they value and incorporate this into your action plan.

Benefits of creating an impact effort matrix

The impact effort matrix is a valuable decision-making tool. It helps teams optimize limited time and resources while providing a visual guide to everything from daily to-do lists to more complex strategic plans. Let’s look at some of these benefits in more detail. 

Prioritize tasks

An impact effort matrix forces you to prioritize tasks based on what’s best for the customer and what’ll help them achieve their goals. As a result, you identify the most fruitful ways to spend your time. 

Maximize efficiency and impact

A successful impact effort matrix analyzes how you’re spending your time. With this information, you can find ways to reduce waste. For example, you’ll categorize tasks based on their level of impact, which helps you cut activities that aren’t worthwhile.

Align goals

An impact effort matrix gets everyone on the same page. It aligns various stakeholders on goals and priorities by measuring exactly how much impact each effort will have. Everyone knows what the priorities are, the impact they’ll have on customers, and how they align with your company and project goals. 

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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