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The Prioritization Matrix provides a way of sorting a diverse set of items into an order of importance. It also enables their relative importance to be identified by deriving a numerical value of the importance of each item. Thus an item with a score of 223 is clearly far more important than one with a score of 23, but is not much more important than one with a score of 219.
In order that the items can be compared with one another in this way, each item is scored against each of a set of key criteria, and the scores for each item are then summed.
I. When to use it
Deciding what is really important from a list of issues can be very difficult, especially if there is no objective data available and the people involved have a difference of opinion about which should be acted upon first. For example, when customers are asking for a list of product enhancements, how do you decide which to implement?
A good criterion reflects key goals and enables objective measurements to be made. Thus 'material cost' is measurable and reflects a business profit goal, whilst 'simplicity' may not reflect any goals and be difficult to score.
When there are multiple criteria, it may also be important to take into account the fact that some criteria are more important than others. This can be implemented by allocating weighting values to each criteria, as shown below.
III. How to do it
Approaches to identifying criteria may include:
When allocating numbers in a group, if consensus cannot be reached, give each person the same number of points to spread amongst the criteria or use some other Voting method.
Approaches to consider include:
If actual numerical values are available for these comparisons, translate the values into the same score range as identified in step 7. For example, if actual costs are available, but the scoring system uses a total of 100, then divide each cost by the total of all costs and multiply by 100.
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:
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.
Cite this as:
YouSigma. (2008). "Prioritization Matrix." From http://www.yousigma.com.
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