Aloha fellow visual collaborators!
In this blog post, I'll be discussing the benefits of using the Impact Effort Matrix (also known as the ‘Value Effort Matrix’) as a framework in your workshop, and why visualizing it can enhance the effectiveness and engagement of the exercise.
What is an Impact Effort Matrix?
If you’re brand new to The Impact vs Effort Matrix, here’s the lowdown: it’s a super useful decision making tool that helps you organise tasks or projects based on the level of impact to be made - versus effort required.
By assessing these two factors, you can focus your team's efforts on what matters most to make efficient use of both your time and resources.
It’s also insanely easy to design, and pretty quick to complete. So definitely a nice prioritization tool to have in your pocket - and who doesn't love a good prioritization tool, riiiiright?
Who is it for?
Now, you might be thinking, "Who can use this tool?" Anyone involved in decision-making or prioritization of tasks or projects can benefit from the Impact Effort Matrix, including:
- Project managers
- Product owners
- Visual Facilitators
- Team leaders
- Business analysts
What are the benefits?
Here are some benefits of using an impact effort matrix:
- Prioritization: The prioritization matrix helps you focus on what matters most, making the most efficient use of your time and resources.
- Clarity: By assessing impact and effort, you can gain clarity on which tasks or projects are high priority and which ones can wait. This reduces confusion and helps you communicate priorities more effectively.
- Efficiency: The matrix helps you make the most efficient use of your resources by focusing on high-impact tasks that require less effort. This can improve productivity and reduce waste.
- Decision-making: The matrix provides a visual representation of the trade-offs between impact and effort, making it easier to make informed decisions about which tasks or projects to pursue.
- Collaboration: By using the matrix collaboratively, you can engage your team in the prioritization process and gain buy-in on the tasks or projects you decide to pursue.
- Flexibility: The matrix can be adapted to suit different contexts and situations, making it a versatile tool that can be used across a range of industries and roles.
Why visualise the Impact / Effort Matrix?
Ok, so technically the Impact Effort Matrix is already ‘visual’.
It’s made from a 2/2 square, with arrows along both the y-axis (Impact) and the x-axis (Effort). It will generally look like this…
I think you might agree that while they're perfectly functional, they’re also pretty dull, and they don’t allure us into the exercise.
And that’s why I L😍VE making things visual. Because visual communication has the power to not only communicate context and direct actions, but to also draw us into the task, and make us want to be there.
Visualizing the Impact Effort Matrix can take this exercise to a whole new level.
How to design an engaging Impact / Effort Matrix
“The proof is in the pudding” of course. So I asked myself “How might I redesign the Impact Effort Matrix template in 10 different ways using the hand drawn icons from the CNVS library, with the constraint that:
- the design doesn’t overcomplicate the exercise
- the style enhances the ambience for different brand personalities
- exercise actions and results are contextually clear