1. Prioritization Matrix Worksheet
  2. Prioritization Matrix Excel Template
  3. Prioritization Matrix Excel
  4. How To Make Prioritization Matrix In Excel
  5. Prioritization Matrix Definition
  6. How To Create A Prioritisation Matrix
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Stratrix’s Feature Prioritization Matrix or Feature Prioritization Template is an essential tool and an accelerator for quickly assessing the features on multiple parameters with different weights for various criteria and consolidating the score to rank the features. The feature prioritization template is an Excel spreadsheet. Nov 18, 2016 Task Prioritization Matrix Template Task Priority Matrix is an approach of categorizing the tasks you have into Critical, High, Medium, and Low. The categorization helps you to address the tasks on a priority basis. This priority matrix build in excel helps you to manage your tasks and priorities.

  • Identify the right prioritization framework for your testing team and download a template
  • Organize your list of test ideas from first-to-run to last

How do you decide what to optimize and when? To figure out which experiments and campaigns to run first and which to place into your backlog, use a prioritization framework to evaluate your ideas.

A basic prioritization framework uses consistent criteria to order the experiments and campaigns you’ll run, from first to last. You’ll use this framework to manage your backlog and experiment cycles. Use a prioritization framework to ensure that your most impactful tests run first.

  • This basic template for prioritizing ideas (Excel) can help you get started. A concept called minimum detectable effect (MDE) can also help you prioritize tests based on expected ROI.

  • A full roadmap includes a scoring rubric and an execution timeline.

Read on to learn about basic prioritization, as well as how to automate your process.

Optimizely's Program Management feature, available on select plans, enables you to scale an experimentation program across an enterprise and gain program-level reporting.

Materials to prepare
    • List of test ideas including:
      • Dependencies
      • Effort estimates
      • Impact estimates
      • Time to significance and available traffic
      • Likelihood of implementation
    • Criteria for prioritization
    • Resourcing constraints
    • Insights from technical audit

People and resources
    • Program Manager (responsible for final scoring)
    • Developer (responsible for estimating effort)
    • Designer (responsible for estimating effort)
    • Executive sponsor (review, approve, and provide strategic alignment)

Actions you'll perform
    • Score impact versus effort
    • Add experiment tags or category labels
    • Rank experiments
    • Create a balanced approach that optimizes for different goals
    • Schedule tests and campaigns in the roadmap
    • Document the prioritization process
    • Socialize an optimization culture at the company
    • A prioritized list of experiments and campaigns, or an advanced roadmap
What to watch out for
    • It can be difficult to quantify the impact of experiments
    • If you don't use a prioritization scheme, you may end up prioritizing ideas according to dominant trends in the company, top-down
    • Without outlining dependencies in advance, you may slow down testing or be unable to run a test at all
    • A lack of documentation can slow down a team with a large roadmap
    • An unbalanced roadmap can over-index certain parts of the site and leave other opportunities on the table -- balance by UX theme, location, tactics, and goals pursued
    • Roadmaps that are entirely agile or entirely waterfall each present difficulties in planning

  • This article is part of the Optimization Methodology series.

If you're unsure of the extent of your organization's experimentation capabilities, Optimizely's Maturity Model can help you determine what kind of experiments you should be doing, as well as the next steps your company should take to maximize your returns from experimentation.

1. Define your prioritization criteria

We suggest you evaluate ideas based on two factors: impact and effort. What counts as high impact, or low effort? This depends on your company's business goals and your team's access resources.

Impact: What metrics will you use to measure the success of your optimization program? Which events in Optimizely directly influence these metrics?

Effort: What is easy or difficult to do? Which resources are dedicated to testing and which are shared or borrowed from other teams?

Team members to consult:

  • The program manager, who is responsible for the overall framework and final scoring

  • The developer, who is responsible for estimating effort

  • The design team, who is responsible for estimating effort

  • The executive sponsor, who will review and approve prioritized list, and provide strategic alignment

Ultimately, the criteria you use to prioritize your ideas will depend on your particular program’s goals and resources.

For example, your team may be technically savvy but low on design resources, so you set up tests easily but have trouble getting mockups. Or if you have executive buy-in but find it difficult to get time with your developers, you may find that advanced test ideas are quickly greenlit but slow to be implemented.

These types of factors are important to consider when deciding on the criteria for effort and impact.

2. Prioritize your list

Assign effort scores and impact scores to every optimization idea and prioritize accordingly.

You can use broad categories like high, medium, and low when evaluating impact and effort.

High-impact, low-effort testsand campaigns should run first.

Or, you can assign numerical scores; scores can help provide a more granular view of the relative ROI of each experiment. This is known as a blended model.

Assign numerical values for effort and impact. Then, simply sum the impact and effort scores for each test and campaign to generate a single prioritization score that combines both sets of criteria.


In the example above, high impact tests and campaigns are given high numericalscores. However, high effort ideas are given low numerical scores.

When we sum the two scores, high-impact, low-effort ideas rise to the top of the prioritized list. These tests and campaigns should run first.

You can further enforce consistency in your prioritization process by building out a detailed rubric. Customize the weights of your effort scores to the strengths of your team. Adjust the weights of your impact scores according to the goals that are most important to your business.

With a rubric, you can consistently and objectively prioritize all your test and campaign.


At this stage, you might also evaluate additional attributes beyond effort and impact. To learn more, read Hotwire’s post on how they added additional criteria that are important to their business.

If you have a relatively mature optimization program with dedicated developer resources, you may be able to focus solely on tests based on impact, without needing to weigh effort. For inspiration, check out Hotwire’s binary scoring matrix to learn how they run over 120 tests a year.

3. Review your process

Prioritization Matrix Worksheet

Once you’ve prioritized your ideas and run a few, set time aside to review how well your process works for your team. Below are two questions to consider.

Should you use a backlog or roadmap?

When you prioritize your testing ideas, you can put them into a backlog or a full, prioritized roadmap. The first option offers more flexibility but the second provides a stable cadence for organizing a complex workflow.

A prioritized backlog is just a queue. Once you’re done with one idea, you reach for the next. If you happen to chance upon an idea with great potential and you’d like to focus your efforts there for a while, you can.

With a full, prioritized roadmap, you commit to a timeline based on how long you think an experiment will run. Most mature programs prefer this approach, as it allows them to coordinate stakeholders and schedule a complex workflow.

With a full roadmap you plan more of your work in advance. You also build a regular cadence for incorporating insights and trends from completed tests and campaigns into a new round of testing. If you’d like to return to an idea, you can re-prioritize it and add a second iteration further down the line.

No matter which method you choose -- roadmap or backlog -- insights from completed tests and campaigns will help you re-prioritize in the next round.

Are you over or under-prioritizing?

As you get to know the cadence of your optimization program’s work cycle, evaluate whether you’re over-prioritizing (putting too many ducks in a row) or under-prioritizing your list.

Do you prioritize 25 ideas but execute just four or five before the next planning phase begins? You're probably over-prioritizing. Teams that over-prioritize consistently fail to implement ideas lower in the prioritized roadmap. Evaluate whether low-priority hypotheses are worth prioritizing again and again. If fewer ideas would help you align your roadmap to your team's cadence, consider capping the list at a lower number.

Do you feel you never have enough high-impact ideas? Teams that under-prioritize often run out of ideas before end of the cycle and find themselves returning to the ideation phase. If this is the case, consider focusing your efforts on generating more ideas for your backlog. An idea submission form and a business intelligence report can help you increase the number of high-quality hypotheses.

Automate idea submissions and ranking

Consider automating an idea submission process at your company. By automatically scoring the ideas submitted to your team, you’ll be able to evaluate and prioritize them more easily.

Create an idea submission form that asks questions about the resources and skill sets required for a given idea. The responses to this form populate a spreadsheet with built-in formulas that add or subtract points based on the responses. Voila! As soon as an idea is submitted, a score is generated based on your prioritization framework. Your ideas can be automatically sorted by those scores.

A formalized process of collecting and prioritizing ideas focuses your team on running strong tests and campaigns and pursuing huge wins that generate excitement for experimentation. Publishing your automated submission form company-wide can also help to democratize prioritization and spread awareness about optimization goals.

By equipping your team with a mechanism for outputting a well-prioritized list of tests and campaigns, you take a critical step towards building a sustainable and effective testing program.

aka Project Priority Matrix or Project Prioritization Matrix Excel template for decision making

What is a Priority Matrix?

An L-shaped matrix template
using weighted paired comparisons of alternatives and rating criteria.

When and why to use your

Prioritization Matrix template

  1. When there are serious consequences for a wrong choice
  2. When there is disagreement between decision makers
  3. When all decision makers must support an important decision

This is the most rigorous and time-consuming of all decision-making tools and methods.

Use this time-consuming decision-making method only for your very most important decisions.

Most decisions can be made more easily using other decision-making tools.

When to use your

Decision Matrix template

Despite the similar names...

If you are seeking to prioritize and select
Lean Six Sigma projects,

then you will usually use your Decision Matrix template,

following the special instructions for Project Prioritization.

You might only use your Project Prioritization template once or twice in your entire life

to do especially thorough analysis for an especially important decision

How to use your

Prioritization Matrix template

Find and open your Priority Matrix template

Find and open your
Prioritization Matrix template


in the same way that you find and open
your other 150+ Systems2win templates.

Save your working document

following the usual document storage and naming conventions established by your leaders

Open a Blank Sheet

When you're ready to start doing your own real work...

click the button to 'Open a Blank Sheet'

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win tab > Open a Blank Sheet

This blank sheet is where you will do your real work

(not on the Sample sheet — which gives you sample data that is extremely helpful for learning how to use your new tool, but is the wrong place to do your real work)

Rename your new sheet.

If English is not your preferred language

Switch to your language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.

Now your team is ready to start using your

Prioritization Matrix Excel template

Analytical Criteria Method

Although this flexible tool can be used in many creative ways,

the classic way to use it is the Analytical Criteria Method.

Define the decision that needs to be made

Succinctly summarize the problem in the Title near the top of the page.

How to create a prioritization matrix in excel

Ensure that everyone understands and agrees upon what is to be decided.

Define Operational Definitions if needed.

Training Video:
Decision Making Tools

Define the focus of THIS worksheet

The focus of the first worksheet should be to brainstorm and prioritize potential Evaluation Criteria.

Then create 1 worksheet per Evaluation Criterion

where you will compare each Alternative based on just that 1 Evaluation Criterion.

To create a new worksheet

use the 'Open a Blank Sheet' button in the Systems2win menu

(as instructed above)

List your unprioritized options, in no particular order

In the top section, list your options with no attempt to prioritize them.

Do not leave blanks between line items, but it is okay to leave blank rows at the end of the list.

Perhaps use brainstorming to generate robust options.

If you come up with more than 50 choices,

either combine or eliminate some choices, using List Reduction methods, or if you need more choices, see advanced training for How to expand the list.

Tip: In October 2020, the number of choices was expanded from 24 to 50. If your Annual Maintenance is current, you can request Systems2win to send you the latest template for free.

Rate each paired comparison

For each pairing of items on your list, ask


'Which is more important, and how much more?'

In the dropdown list, select your rating for the ROW as compared to the COLUMN.

In the corresponding grey cell, it will automatically populate the inverse rating for the column as compared to the row.

Notice that almost everything in section 2 auto-populated when you completed section 1.

The only data that you enter is your forced choice paired comparison values.

The Prioritized List (in the bottom section) will auto-populate as you complete the other sections.

Do not edit anything in that bottom section.

The focus of the first worksheet should be to brainstorm and prioritize potential Evaluation Criteria

Then create 1 worksheet per Evaluation Criterion where you will compare each Alternative based on just that 1 Evaluation Criterion

Make your final decision

Using the simple Decision Matrix template (DecisionSimple.xlsx)

(NOT the Prioritization Matrix template)

compare all Alternatives against all Objectives (Evaluation Criteria)

From the Prioritized List section of the Evaluation Criteria sheet in the Prioritization Matrix:

Copy the Prioritized List
to the Objectives header row
in the Decision Matrix.

And copy Weights
for Evaluation Criteria,
to the Importance header row in the Decision Matrix.

From the Unprioritized List section in any one of your other sheets in the Prioritization Matrix:

Copy the Unprioritized List
of Alternatives, and
Paste Special > Values
to the Alternatives column of the Decision Matrix.

From the Comparison Grid section of each sheet in your Prioritization Matrix: (1 sheet per Evaluation Criterion)

Copy Weights for each Alternative,
and Paste Special > Values to the Rating grid in the Decision Matrix.

This example was created using the old version of the Decision Matrix.
Objectives are now in columns and Alternatives are now in rows.

Tip: You might make the columns wider, and adjust the number format to display 2 decimal places, like we did in this example.

The Adjusted Scores in the Decision Matrix will contain your final ranking of your Alternatives —

Prioritization Matrix Excel Template

prioritized using the detailed weights that your team took so much time to thoroughly consider.

Then your team makes your final decisions for Our Priority Ranking.



Advanced Training for your

Priority Matrix template


Prioritization Matrix Excel

To print different Print Areas,
use the special Print Area buttons.

Learn more about how Systems2win Print Buttons extend the standard features of Microsoft Excel.

How to Consider More Options (without expanding the list)

Tip: In October 2020, the number of choices was expanded from 24 to 50. If your Annual Maintenance is current, you can request Systems2win to send you the latest template for free.

If you have more than 50 options, perhaps use some other (simpler) method to reduce the number of options to 50 (such as using your Values List template, in 2 batches, as explained next), or simple group dialog to agree on the top 50.

If you still end up with more than 50, then perhaps using your Prioritization Matrix to compare 2 batches of alterntives, and then do it again for a 'play off' of the top 25 solutions that emerge from each of the first 2 lists.

How to Expand the List if you need more options

In each of the 3 sections, you must have the same number of rows of options.

Copy similar rows or columns

Do NOT simply insert rows or columns.

You must instead copy similar rows or columns, using Insert Copied Cells

In the grey column just to the left of the Prioritized List

edit the numbers so that the numbering sequence continues correctly in your newly copied rows.

The comparison table must have the same number of columns as rows,

and your inserted columns must be to the left of the thin gold line that defines the boundary of the table.

The ID numbers for both rows and columns must continue the sequence.

You will need to manually copy & paste similar cells to keep the pattern or diagonal grey cells separating the editable white cells from the non-editable grey cells containing the formula.

Tip: Copy the (bottom) white cells first, then the (top) grey cells.

Re-protect your sheet as soon as possible,

so that you don't accidentally damage formulas

Better Thinking

If the decision that you are making involves process improvement...

then be sure to return (again and again) to the Hansei questions to stimulate Lean Thinking.

How To Make Prioritization Matrix In Excel


Suggested Reading and Resources

Did we mention that the Prioritization Matrix is (by far) the most thorough and time-consuming of the decision-making tools?


Are you interested in exploring easier, faster ways?

Prioritization Matrix Definition

Learn about other decision-making tools, and see suggested reading for decision-making methods.

This Prioritization Matrix template
comes with many other useful tools for Continuous Improvement

How To Create A Prioritisation Matrix

to empower every team member to improve every process

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