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Strategy, Ideation, Plans

2x2 prioritization matrix

Evaluate options based on value and effort to identify what to work on next

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About the 2x2 prioritization matrix template

Whether you are evaluating ideas or deciding which features to add to your roadmap, product teams must consider the tradeoffs. A 2x2 prioritization matrix helps you quickly weigh value against effort to visualize the most impactful options.

Items in the top-left corner of the matrix are the quick wins — these will have the biggest impact for the least effort. The top-right items are worthwhile but require significant resources. The bottom-left items may be worth pursuing when the team has spare capacity. And the bottom-right items are low value and high effort — so they do not make good business sense.

Use the template to spark meaningful conversations with your team and guide prioritization decisions. Convert any sticky note into real work items in Aha! Roadmaps. This gives you the opportunity to more deeply assess the value of the work using the Aha! product value scorecard and then incorporate it into your plans.

How to use

Make better tradeoff decisions by identifying work that will create the most value for the least effort.

  1. Set context Frame the decision you want to make. It should be wide enough that it invites critical thinking but narrow enough that you can make relatively quick decisions. For instance, in our example we are evaluating ideas for one area of functionality — notifications — in a fictitious product.

  2. Assess value and effort Plot work items, ideas, or product features on the 2x2 matrix using sticky notes. Position each note based on an assessment of value vs. effort — or relabel the matrix to compare dimensions that matter to you. Color-code stickies by type of work, topic, or team.

  3. Weigh your options Invite colleagues to add comments, questions, and emojis — encouraging lively discussion. Move the locations of sticky notes as you fine-tune your assessments.

  4. Plan next steps Determine how you want you to move forward, ideally starting with items in the top-left corner of the matrix. Convert these stickies into work items in Aha! Roadmaps so you can define the details and schedule the work.

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