Using Prioritization Matrix to achieve consensus


What is Prioritization Matrix?

Logo for usabiliTEST Prioritization Matrix online tool Prioritization Matrix is often mentioned along Six Sigma set of strategies, techniques, and tools for process improvement. While this sounds very academic, to put in simple terms, Prioritization Matrix is a simple, yet effective approach you can use with your current or potential customers or with your team members to achieve consensus about issues, by arranging them in order of importance, based on a weighted criteria.

How to use Prioritization Matrix?

Before we get any deeper into what this simple tool does, please see below a couple of interactive prioritization matrix examples. This is what your test participants will use to layout their preferences. The first demo test is utilizing cards with text labels only and another one is using images. The system will then analyze the criteria matrix and combine individual participants' responses into a total score.

Anyone who has done some project management knows that you often have to consider two important factors: time and money. It is vital for your project success that the method you choose models a user-centered approach that prioritizes the fixes in a systematic and repeatable way. It is also critical that the approach you choose be cost-effective and reliable.

Example
You work on a complex web-based application that still has a few issues that need to be addressed. The project deadline is pretty tight yet it seems that everyone on your team is suggesting to tackle a different issue first, and provide pretty compelling supporting arguments. You can't waste any time and can't afford to make a wrong choice. You need to get everyone on the same page and quick...

Regardless of the method you pick, you have to:

  • Identify the problems
  • Create problem priority matrix based on importance of each criterion
  • Prioritize areas of improvement based on time and effort needed for fixing the problems
  • Design and implement the fixes

Creating prioritization matrices

If we go back to our web application example, you would collect all the tasks involved in user’s successful usage of the tool, like:

  • Login
  • Update profile
  • Check report
  • Change password
  • Set alerts, etc.

Once you analyzed the business processes and compiled a list of all user actions, you'll put each individual task into a separate “card” using usabiliTEST’s online Prioritization Matrix admin panel. Then you'll have your participants “drag and drop” those cards on a grid (see demo links above).

For example, you can sort tasks by Frequency and Effort or by selecting criteria applicable to your specific needs based on the knowledge of the process. Once the test is complete you can see clearly which issues are the most important to work on. Our proprietary system helps you rank various criteria by calculating weight scoring and produces a priority list on the fly. If needed, individual selections are also available.

Whatever your goal is, whether it is project prioritization or customer satisfaction, getting everyone's input and sorting it based on full analytical criteria, not only eliminates bias, but gives you certain level of confidence and credibility.

usabiliTEST allows me to get cards entered into the system easily and setup a test within 30 minutes or less. Test participants have commented on how easy it was to take the tests and feel like a part of the process. The reports view is awesome and lets you see data graphically or simply download the raw data and format it the way you need. If you are serious about Information Architecture (IA) and user-centered analysis, you should be using usabiliTEST.

Keith Kmett, CUA
Digital Strategist & UXD

Price: $24.95

To launch your Prioritization Matrix test today, create an account here. It only takes a few minutes to set up this test. In the end, you'll save hours on data analysis; you will also gain valuable insight from the brilliance of your participants' minds.