Impact, Effort, Action

Impact, Effort, Action


Evaluate alternatives and quickly align on action steps

Reading Time

3 mins

Activity time

45 mins

What is this for? Help you to evaluate a range of alternative ideas quickly, and align as a team on immediate actionable next steps.


Step 1: Range of alternatives

  • You should start this activity with a range of alternatives (appr. 8-12)
  • If you don't have a clear list of options yet you can use another tool to identify them with a team such as:
  • Write each alternative on a sticky (or digital sticky)

Step 2: Prepare the quadrants

Step 3: Plot and evaluate alternatives

  • One at a time assess each stick on the board with your team
  • Start by asking the team about "Impact"
    • Does the sticky belong more towards the top (higher impact) or bottom (lower impact) of the board
  • Then for the same sticky ask about Effort
    • More to the right (higher effort) or left (lower effort)
  • Continue with one sticky at a time until all are placed
  • image

Step 4: Determine the lead alternatives

  • Top left quadrant: Do now! Can get these moving in less than a week (maybe even today)
  • Top right quadrant: Make it a project
  • Bottom left: Put a task in the backlog
  • Bottom right: Forget for now

Step 5: Action steps

  • Take each of the stickies except from the bottom right quadrant
  • Have each member in the group volunteer to take ownership of a sticky
    • They can do/start the initiative themselves or nominate and find someone to take the initiative forward

Download Worksheet

Download this PDF here

Additional Resources

Related Workshops