Find out which are the 6 main methodologies used for project prioritization – WAU

Project prioritization is a common action in business organizations, but it needs to be treated with more care. Priority mapping is essential to improve management, decision making, productivity and the quality of products or services delivered.

It is common sense that some actions need to be taken before others. However, it is a fact that most people use intuitive to define project priorities, which can happen in bad results.

Any project management needs to adopt a method (or more) to ensure that all activities are carried out at the right time and with the right effort. This brings more productivity for teams and profits for companies.

In addition, market competition increasingly requires product or service excellence along with agility and price.

Therefore, just “delivering” what the customer asked for is no longer enough. A brand needs to impress to stand out and, one of the pillars to achieve excellent results, is the organization.

Next, get to know the main methodologies used for prioritization of projects and what are the advantages of adopting them!

What are the main methodologies for prioritizing projects?


THE BASIC Matrix usually used for assist in important decisions.

Through a scale of grades from 1 (worst case) to 5 (best case), anyone can map tasks and actions by priorities.

The name of this prioritization method is related to the initial of each criterion that needs to be considered for the score, such as:

  • Bbenefits for the company;
  • THEwhiteness of results;
  • sinternal customer satisfaction;
  • Inecessary investment;
  • Çsatisfied external customer;
  • Osimple operationality.

Each of these items must receive a score – from 1 to 5 – according to their relevance within a project, action, task or process.

After adding the note for each topic, use the total score to compare with the scores of other needs in your schedule. Ready! You already know what needs to be done before and what to expect.

BASICO project prioritization worksheet

Fill in your email and receive a free template to organize the prioritization of your projects:

2. GUT

This method also uses a score of 1 to 5 to rank the priority of your projects.

The acronym GUT was created based on three criteria that this methodology uses to prioritize actions:

  • Gravity: classifies the actions you need to take according to the impact they will have on other activities or projects;
  • Uemergency: considers the time remaining to resolve each situation;
  • Tendency: it is a projection of the speed that an unresolved problem can take to get worse.

To better visualize how the GUT matrix works, just set up a table with each criterion and the corresponding note, like this:

GUT matrix

After that, each of your projects needs to earn three grades: one for gravity, one for urgency and the last for tendency.

With the sum of these numbers, you will have the score for each project to compare them. Obviously, the highest notes indicate what is a priority for you at the moment.


Like previous matrices, the acronym RICE It is also the abbreviation of each of the factors considered to rank the priorities of your projects. N

in this case, they are:

  • Reach (scope): number of people who will be impacted by your project;
  • Impact (impact): how each person will be impacted with this project;
  • Çonfidence: how confident are you and your team about this project;
  • ANDffort (effort): considers the time, difficulty and effort put into carrying out this project.

Through analysis of each of these factors, the RICE matrix serves to measure the importance of each project, also based on scores to perform priority comparisons.

In that case, you need to give a grade for each of the parameters listed above (the decision of the minimum and maximum score is at your discretion).

Then, to reach the score result for each project, you need to solve the following formula:

R x I x C / E

With the result of the calculation above, it is possible to identify the priority of each of your projects.

4. Cost x Benefit Matrix

This method of prioritizing projects is the easiest to understand, after all, many people are already familiar with the term “cost x benefit”.

In this case, the matrix helps to clarify the value of a project and the relationship of this to the expected result of the project.

To make this balance, we use a matrix divided by colors and quadrants, like this:

cost x benefit matrix

With the cost x benefit matrix, you don’t need to calculate anything, just take the data provided for your project and fit it into the colored quadrants.

The color logic in this method is:

  • Red: represents the worst possible result, with high cost and low return;
  • Yellow: shows an intermediate result, in which the cost and benefit are considered ok;
  • Green: it is a low-cost project, but it will not bring many benefits;
  • Blue: it is the best of the options, because it represents the best possible results for a project.

5. Eisenhower Matrix (Urgency vs. Importance)

You may find that the priorities called urgent and important are similar, but not quite.

While projects classified as urgent demonstrate that the time to complete tasks is shorter, the projects considered important are those that will have a greater impact on results.

And now, how to define priorities considering these two factors?

Well, the Eisenhower Matrix is ​​indispensable for this type of situation. To define what should be prioritized, this method considers a numerical scale from 1 to 4, which lists the two criteria:

Eisenhower matrix

Therefore, you must ask a question based on what you need to identify relevance.

The answer will be one of the notes that are within the quadrants above. For example: Does the project need more agility in the process or more peace of mind to improve quality and have more impact? In that case, which grade, from 1 to 4, would he get?

Develop more than one question if necessary, then compare scores between projects, tasks and actions.

6. Effort x Impact Matrix

Again, impact is an important factor in defining the priority of projects.

But this time, the other relevant criterion is the effort, that is, the time and work spent to perform a function, process or activity.

To put the Effort x Impact method into practice is very easy and you will need a matrix in this format:

effort x impact matrix

Then, just create a list of the actions needed to implement or complete a project.

From this list, distribute the tasks according to the score you believe they deserve, considering what is most impactful and what demands more effort from you or your team.

Consider that:

  • Quadrant 1: actions that are easy to perform and that generate great results;
  • Quadrant 2: actions that bring great results, but also require a lot of effort;
  • Quadrant 3: easy actions, however, with low impact;
  • Quadrant 4: actions with the worst scenarios, usually those that must be discarded or rethought.

What are the advantages of project prioritization methods?

It is clear that the first advantage that comes to mind is to organize the order of priority of actions and projects, obviously.

But prioritization methods also benefit you and your business in other ways. Look!

Clarity in priorities

Professionals do not always know why they should prioritize one project over the other.

With the prioritization methodologies, the criteria used to map priorities are clear to everyone, which facilitates not only the order of actions, but the understanding of the importance of each one.

Agility to make decisions

When you have little time to make an important decision, ideally, your projects are already organized in order of priority.

Like this, it becomes easier to decide what can be left for later and what has to be resolved immediately, in addition to the weight of each action within a macro scenario.

Prevents loss of focus

The bigger the project, the more chances of losing focus along the way. In other words, that the final objective is not clearer to the teams or to the managers.

A prioritization methodology avoids this, precisely because requires goals to be clear so that priority is set.

Better results

The sum of all benefits generated by a prioritization method directly reflects the quality of your results.

With the appropriate time and importance for each project, delivering more than your company and your customers expect will be routine. After all, the customer experience starts with a good organization!

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How to choose the project prioritization method to be used?

As you may have noticed, each method focuses on a different goal. So, to choose which one is the best to prioritize your projects, think about what is most important to consider at that moment:

  • Is your focus on financial? Test the cost-benefit method first;
  • Is your focus on time? Use the urgency x importance matrix;
  • Is your focus on results? Try the effort x impact matrix;
  • Is the priority general? Stick with the BASICA and RICE methods.

Did you find it difficult to identify which of your needs is yours? Well, it can happen when goals have not been defined within a project.

Therefore, before measuring any type of priority, it is extremely necessary to have an alignment around the main objectives.

For this, get to know OKR right now, a method used by large companies, such as Google, for setting and measuring goals. Learn all about this system, in a way practical and fast, with our OKR e-book: goals that connect strategies with operation.