Impact Effort Matrix

prioritize work and task by their effort and impact

Impact Effort Matrix

What is a Impact Effort Matrix?

An impact effort matrix is a decision-making tool that evaluates the importance of any project or endeavour by effort and impact. It helps groups to rapidly identify what activities they should focus on, along with the ones they can ignore.


How does a Impact Effort Matrix work?

Before you begin

For this exercise you should have ideas, activities or options ready that you would like to prioritise. Each option should be written on one post-it. In this exercise you as the Facilitator will move the post-its on the matrix and ask the group to help you where to locate the right spot on the matrix.

Step 1: Effort Scale

Take the first post-it and put it in the centre of the matrix. Ask the participants to first focus on the horizontal effort scale. How much effort do they think is required on a scale from 0 to 10?

Tip: Encourage them to think about time, money, resources, and capacity will be needed to achieve the desired outcome.

Step 2: Repeat and adjust

Place another Post-it in the centre of the matrix and repeat Step 1. Do this until all post its are sorted on the effort scale.

Tip: Ask the participants to ignore the impact for now and only focus on the effort.
Tip: Compare the effort with the post-its that are already sorted and adjust position if necessary

Step 3: Impact Scale

Time for impact. Start with the post-it at the left and ask the participants to tell you how high or low this activity or idea should be placed among the impact scale.

Step 4 : Repeat and adjust

Take the next Post-it on the horizontal line and repeat step 3. Do this until all post its are sorted on the whole matrix. Have a final comparing look between the positions of all post-its and and readjust if necessary.

Tip: Ask and double check if everyone is on board with the current board

Step 5: Decide

Now that the matrix is filled it should be help to make a decision about what to focus on next.

On the top left are the Quick Wins: Activities that give the best return based on the effort.

On the top right are the Major Projects: Activities that provide long term returns but may be more complex to execute.

On the bottom left are Fill Ins: Unimportant activities including everyday tasks.

On the bottom right are Time Wasters: These activities are time-consuming and require resources that are better spent on other things.

Tip: Follow this exercise up with a tangible actionable list so that each individual knows where to start from here.


What is a good example for a Impact Effort Matrix?

A good use case for the Impact Effort matrix is to decide on a course of action for the team or the business. The final result of the Impact Effort Matrix shows where the team should allocate their time to maximize impact.

Below, you see an example of how an impact effort matrix might look at the end.


Who invented a Impact Effort Matrix?


Impact Effort Matrix Template Download

Impact Effort Matrix Miro Template

  1. Click the button below, to open the Impact Effort Matrix Miro Template
  2. In Miro click on the name of the board in the upper-left corner, to see the board info card
  3. Click on the Duplicate button in the info card to add the template into your own account.
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Screenshot explaining how to duplicate a Miro template

Impact Effort Matrix Mural Template

  1. Click the button below, to open the Impact Effort Matrix Mural Template
  2. In the new tab click on Create mural from template to create a new Mural board with the template in your account

Tip: You can also click "Save for later" to save the template into your account and use it in the future.

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Screenshot explaining how to duplicate a Mural template

Impact Effort Matrix PDF Template

To download the Impact Effort Matrix PDF Template, simply click the button below.

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Questions & Answers

How can I edit the Impact Effort Matrix template?
Duplicate either the Miro or Mural Impact Effort Matrix template. All you need for that is a free account on one of the platforms. From there you can fully edit and adapt the template content and colors to your own needs.
Can I share the Impact Effort Matrix template with others?
Yes, absolutly! Feel free to share this template with your team, colleagues or organisation. The best way to do this, is to send them a direct link to the template.
Is it possible to print the Impact Effort Matrix template?
Yes, you can print the Impact Effort Matrix template. To do so, simply download the PDF version of this template. The PDF version is in A4 format, vector-based and can be printed in high-quality on large size. The best paper size for printing is A1, because it's still portable but gives you enough space to work on.
Do I need a payed Miro or MURAL account to use the Impact Effort Matrix template?
No, a payed Miro or Mural account won't be necessary to use this template, because you can always use the free plan for both tools. Or if you exceed the limits of the free plan, you can always download this template as a PDF.
What is the license for this template?
This template is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0. In short that means, you are free to download, copy and share the template. But while doing so, you must give appropriate credit and provide a link to the Impact Effort Matrix template website.