Decision making matrix: How to prioritise your digital projects

By Martin Ray

Decision making matrix: How to prioritise your digital projects

Most businesses are great at coming up with ideas for digital transformation projects. There is always something new and shiny around the corner that we have to try out. However, with a growing list of suggestions from different stakeholders in the organisation, it quickly becomes challenging to prioritise which ones to focus on and which to ditch. Here is a framework that will help you think about prioritising all the different suggestions

It's easy to get derailed and lose focus in digital transformation projects. Many different stakeholders, all with their agenda and particular areas of interest, tend to pull the core priority in different directions, and it's pretty easy to end up in a situation where most of the focus is put on the wrong efforts. Using a decision-making matrix to prioritise which projects or suggestions to focus on and in which order can help keep a steady course and make sure that change happens quickly and has a significant impact.

Decision-making priority matrix

The decision-making matrix comprises two intersecting axes measuring high impact versus low impact and low effort versus high effort. Together, the two axes create a grid of four different boxes.

Decision matrix

Quick wins

We place "quick wins " in the matrix's upper left corner. These projects or suggestions will require relatively little effort to implement but, once completed, will have a significant impact. 

Example: let's assume your website doesn't have a contact form where customers and prospects can submit questions and requests from your organisation. Implementing a contact form would take little effort (in most cases) but deliver high impact in the form of incoming requests and questions.

Transformational

In the upper right corner, we place "transformational." These projects or suggestions will require relatively high effort to implement but, once completed, will have a powerful impact. 

Example: let's assume that your organisation doesn't use a CRM system. Implementing a new CRM system would require much effort; you need to research and determine which CRM would be best for your company, negotiate with vendors, set up the system, design sales pipelines, train sales reps, and so on. However, once the new CRM system is up and running, it will be truly transformational for most companies.

Derailers

In the bottom left corner, we place "derailers". These projects or suggestions require relatively little effort and deliver low impact. They are called derailers because they typically "steal" time and resources from quick wins and transformational projects. Therefore, they "derail" those other projects that would deliver more overall impact to the organisation. 

Example: let's assume that you are a B2B company that publishes content on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn weekly. For most B2B companies, relevant interactions and social media leads typically originate from LinkedIn. Hence, most businesses would benefit from focusing on LinkedIn exclusively and stop wasting resources on social media platforms optimised for B2C (like Facebook and Instagram).  

Ditch it

We place "ditch it" in the matrix's bottom right corner. These projects or suggestions will require relatively high effort to implement but, once completed, will have a minimal impact. 

For example, let's assume that you are a B2B company about to develop a new website and are trying to decide which web browsers to optimise the new site for. While about 0,5% of all people still use old Internet Explorer web browsers, optimising the new site for these old versions would require much effort and deliver minimal impact.

To help you easily use the above decision matrix when you need to prioritise different initiatives in your organisation, we have put it in PPT format and made it available to download it below. Feel free to rebrand and reuse the slide in your own internal planning sessions. Good luck!

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Download the decision matrix PPT

Download the decision matrix PPT

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Martin Ray
Chief Analyst & Digital Strategist since 2011. Advise businesses on how online and digital impact their business and plan a strategy to achieve maximum results. Inofficially top lumberjack at Zooma, officially top trendspotter.
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