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Prioritization Matrix: Examples

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When to use it | How to understand it | Example | How to use it | Practical variations


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The personnel department of a major manufacturer had a number of problems highlighted in a company motivation survey. They decided to work as a team on improving the survey score. To select aspects on which to focus, they decided to use a Prioritization Matrix with the top eight motivational problems and three selection criteria.

They discussed and agreed on distributing 100 weighting points between the criteria. Scoring of problems was done differently for each criterion, but then converted to a percentage before multiplying by the weight. This scheme resulted in final scores that were also percentage figures. Scoring of problems against criteria was done as follows:

  • For the criterion of 'We are able to influence', the ability of the personnel department to effect a real change was discussed, and 100 points distributed between problems.
  • For the criterion of 'Many people have problem', the actual number of people mentioning this problem in the survey was used and then converted to a percentage.
  • For the criterion of 'Likely survey improvement', the improvement in the survey score in these areas if this problem was fully addressed was used and then converted to a percentage.

The figure below shows the Prioritization Matrix. Pay and work overload, as the highest scoring motivational problems, were selected for carrying forward for further investigation. As a result of consequent work in the project, the pay structure for certain grades was revised and training on job scheduling was introduced. In the following year, the survey improved in these areas by 2 and 3 points, respectively.



Fig. 1. Example Prioritization Matrix

Other examples

  • In a project to increase revenue, a sales team finds a direct correlation between the time spent in front of customers and sales totals. They identify multiple causes which prevent them from getting in front of the customer, and consequently use a Prioritization Matrix to help identify the causes which have the most effect on 'customer-facing' time. As this is a critical item, they employ the Full Analytical Criteria method and spend time gathering actual data for use in the matrix.
  • An automobile manufacturer's stores manager uses a Prioritization Matrix to help decide which items to put closer to the store's counter. Criteria include 'weight' and 'request frequency'.
  • A small taxi company want to identify a way of deciding whether to accept calls. The owner and a group of his senior drivers brainstorm a list of possible criteria, writing them down on cards, then used a Bubble Sort to find the priority order, using the criteria of 'secure' and 'profitable'.



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