Get to know the Effort x Impact Matrix and learn how to apply it in your company’s daily life – WAU
The effort and impact matrix is a tool for prioritizing tasks. It divides tasks into 4 groups, classifying them according to the impact generated and the effort expended. From the increase in results to the greater motivation of the team, the benefits obtained are diverse.
Virtually every company or professional wants to increase their productivity. In a SWOT analysis, for example, several organizations point to the lack of clarity in time management as a weakness.
However, one of the biggest challenges is, precisely, to understand which actions should be treated as a priority. In the midst of a long to-do list, how do you know which ones to do before others? For this, a very effective solution is to Effort X Impact Matrix.
With this tool, managers and teams have the possibility to identify the actions capable of generating more results. Thus, they can correctly plan their schedules and routines, prioritizing what is really needed. Are you interested in knowing more? Stay with us!
What is the Effort X Impact Matrix?
The Effort X Impact Matrix is a tool for task prioritization. It divides tasks into 4 groups, classifying them according to the impact generated and the effort expended.
Its origin is not entirely certain, but it is often used in Lean Six Sigma. The main objectives of this model of analysis are to generate awareness about the use of time and plan the execution of projects.
The format of the Effort X Impact Matrix is very similar to that of other methodologies used in time management, such as the urgent and important matrix. However, its simple and straightforward approach can help to bring even more clarity in the execution of activities.
The matrix is divided into two axes, vertical and horizontal. The first, which deals with impact, takes into account factors such as profit, sales and customer satisfaction. The second, effort, considers the time, energy, money or human resources that will be used in the task.
How do the stress x impact matrix quadrants work?
Despite being quite intuitive, the quadrants of the Effort X Impact Matrix can be analyzed more closely to increase understanding. Follow!
It brings productive tasks, since they are the ones that generate more results with less effort. These actions should be carried out immediately, as much as the company can – whenever possible, do at least one of them daily. In addition to bringing quick rewards, the first quadrant helps to stimulate the team.
These actions are also important, but difficult to implement. They require discipline, constant improvement and patience. Therefore, they must be treated with care. In this case, it is worth investing time to plan how the actions will be carried out, as this will facilitate the entire process.
Third quadrant tasks are not completely useless, but they are somewhat dangerous. Because they require little effort, they are usually attractive. The problem is that the results generated are also low.
So, always be aware of this group and ask yourself if these chores are really necessary. If so, set aside short periods of time to do them – for example, when the team is tired of bigger tasks.
In addition to possibly damaging the company’s financial health, the fourth quadrant is discouraging, since makes teams spend their energy without seeing any results. If any of these tasks are really necessary, look for more creative and fun ways to do it.
What are the main benefits of applying this analysis?
The main advantages of using the Effort X Impact Matrix are as follows.
Increase in results
The great advantage of this tool is to understand how to generate quick earnings, optimizing time and resources to maximize productivity. In other words, the team starts to generate more results with less effort, which is the dream of every company.
Focus and clarity
The matrix quickly points out what tasks a team or professional should focus on. With that, the focus and concentration increase, bringing more productivity.
The Effort X Impact Matrix can be applied with the participation of employees. With this, it tends to generate consensus in the team, stimulating the collaborative spirit and acting as a motivating factor. After all, everyone is safer and more aware of the decisions made.
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How to apply the Effort X Impact Matrix on a daily basis?
If you can’t wait to apply and measure the relationship between effort and the impact of your company’s tasks, here are some tips for applying the matrix on a daily basis. Look at that!
List the tasks
The first step is to list all the tasks that need to be done. If you have multiple projects in the queue and you don’t know which one to start with, you can start by listing the projects and then breaking down the tasks for each of them.
Distribute tasks across the quadrants
This step is self-explanatory. However, it is important pay attention to the criteria that characterize impact and effort. The impact is not necessarily the billing, as it can be profit or even consumer satisfaction. The effort is not only time, but also the wear and tear of the team, for example.
Besides that, stay tuned for emergencies. Do you know those tasks that need to be done soon, regardless of what happens? Separate them and identify which quadrants they are in. Sometimes, something that seems to be postponable may not bring the necessary impact to be considered a priority.
Analyze current standards
With the steps above, you’ll be able to prioritize tasks. However, the Effort X Impact Matrix is not only used to plan, but also to bring awareness to the use of time.
When analyzing the distribution of tasks in the 4 quadrants, it will be possible to draw good conclusions. One tip is to check the percentage of time spent in each quadrant.
Include new habits
For constant results, it is not enough to use the matrix only once and then abandon it. Ideally, from the generated reflection and analysis, you should include new habits of success in the routine so that the company has more productivity.
For example, the team can meet each week to set up the matrix and decide what is a priority. Another possible habit would be to time the activities and, after that, classify them in quadrants to calculate the time spent in each category.
In the business context, there are many methodologies and tools that allow you to increase productivity and improve time management. Due to its simplicity and effectiveness, the Effort X Impact Matrix is one of the analyzes that usually produces the best results.
In any case, it is essential test it in practice and learn gradually with its use, verifying the results obtained by the team.
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