The one resource both you and Jeff Bezos have the same quantity of.
24 hours in a day.
In a start-up’s life, there’s never enough time. There are so many things to do and so many decisions to be made. You have your goals set but which one should you focus on first? Which new feature should you launch first? Should you have your sales team undergo a training program, or should you focus on hiring and growing the team? Launch Facebook campaigns on a new market or re-do your transactional emails to increase rebuy? This is why setting priorities is essential.
Without a framework for setting priorities, developers will work on the fancy tech stuff while the marketing team will only launch the easy campaigns. These projects will occupy them, and at the end of the year, revenue will be underwhelming. I’ve seen this happen many times. Activity is not what we’re after. We’re after results. This is why a results-driven framework will help align the company.
The Impact- Ease Matrix is a popular tool used by startups and companies to set priorities, decision-making and organise activities. A good visual gives everyone a clear view of the strategies and where they fall into the matrix.
Here it is below:
The Matrix is a 2-axis matrix with the level of impact being on the y-axis (vertical plane) and level of ease on the x-axis (horizontal plane). The level of impact measures how much a strategy can impact the company (e.g. help company grow, increase employer productivity) and the level of ease measures how easy it is to carry out a strategy (eg. low cost, fewer resources, short time).
In each field, tasks, strategies, activities or ideas can be allocated according to the level of ease and impact. Strategies with high impact and high level of ease should be prioritized first, while the rest can be open for discussion and debate. Strategies with low impact and low ease should be avoided.
Start with discussions with the team to decide on which activity goes where on the matrix. Then make it publicly available for everyone. Transparency is key. With this matrix at hand, you can remove biases from most discussions. The argument against doing a certain thing is no longer “I don’t think it’ll work” but rather “we agreed that this other strategy has a higher potential impact and it’s easier to do”.
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This will bring higher commitment as it’s clear why one strategy is the focus compared to another.
At Workana, we used this tool extensively on our product and growth teams.
If you found this content helpful or would like to discuss more about utilising this tool, feel free to drop me a message through my LinkedIn!