Prioritization Matrix

Purpose

To prioritize tasks, issues, alternatives, etc. to aid in selecting what tasks, issues, alternatives to pursue.

Guidelines

Generate a set of criteria to be used in establishing the quality of the decision.

Construct a matrix with options, etc. down the left and selection criteria across the top.

Each person prioritizes the criteria by distributing the value 1.0 among the criteria (i.e. sum of the weight is 1.0).

Add the weights from each person for each criterion. The sum becomes the team's weight for the criterion. Enter these weights in the L matrix in brackets -- each column will have the same number in each cell.

Going one criterion at a time, have each person rank order all of the options, etc. with respect to the criterion using the Nominal Group Technique. Sum the vote totals from each person for each option and then rank order the options. Enter the rank order for each option under that criterion into the matrix.

Multiply the group's rank order and weight for each option and sum these products for each row.

The rows with the highest sums are the items of highest priority. Discuss any row which has a low total but seems like its important.

Example

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.

Prioritization
Criteria

Motivation
issues

We can
influence
Wt = 20

Many people
have problem
Wt = 30
Likely survey improvement
Wt = 50
Score
Unhelpful management
25%
5.0
21 = 11%
3.2
2 = 9%
4.6
12.8
Insufficient pay
19%
3.8
29 = 15%
4.5
4 = 18%
9.1
17.4
Work overload
6%
1.2
36 = 18%
5.5
5 = 23%
11.4
18.1
Unclear objectives
20%
4.0
23 = 12%
3.5
3 = 14%
6.8

14.4

Inadequate tools
8%
1.6
45 = 23%
6.9
3 = 14%
6.8
15.3
Poor food in canteen
4%
0.8
21 = 11%
3.2
2 = 9%
4.6
8.6
Uncooperative workmates
13%
2.6
10 = 5%
1.5
2 = 9%
4.6
8.7
Untidy workplace
5%
1.0
10 = 5%
1.5
1 = 5%
2.3
4.8
Totals
195
22
100