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A Guide on Prioritization Matrix in Six Sigma for 2024

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19th Jan, 2024
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    A Guide on Prioritization Matrix in Six Sigma for 2024

    Professionals in managerial positions often get overloaded with tasks. Due to this, they skip the significant ones that create a lot of mess. If this continues for longer, it might impact the sale and revenue graph of the company or earn a poor reputation. Thus, to avoid falling into a complicated mess and sail through the competition, companies need to follow a strategic approach. That is where the prioritization matrix comes into the picture.  

    Six Sigma is all about continuous and consistent improvement in company operations. Experts plan various strategies and improvise every business aspect to ensure that they stand out in the competition and keep their customers satisfied and engaged with them. However, when there are too many things to do, even the best experts can remember a few things. That is when they can make good use of a priority matrix. It is a Six Sigma technique, allowing the experts to list their tasks according to their preference and keep accomplishing them one after the other. It takes qualified experts to understand the task hierarchy according to its significance or role in the project. Thus, companies always prefer hiring professionals who have completed the lean Six Sigma courses online to prove their worth and understanding of the domain. Let us take a deeper look at this concept.

    What is a Prioritization Matrix?

    It is a technique that lets professionals enlist their tasks according to their significance and ensure higher productivity levels. Furthermore, businesses can use this technique to identify the areas that require immediate attention for growth and save them from focusing on aspects that they can deal with later. The prioritization grid has four main sections that contain jobs selected by dividing the project into small jobs. The matrix segregates jobs into: 

    • Do First 
    • Do Later 
    • Delegate 
    • Eliminate 

    These categories clarify the tasks or the aspects you should consider first, which one will follow, and the ones you can avoid. The eliminated tasks will help you save a lot of the time and effort that your team puts in, and the productivity levels will rise automatically. The project managers have the right to place any task seeming significant into the do priority tab, considering its urgency and value. They are the right people to assign tasks as they learn how to decide the priorities in the Lean Six Sigma Courses online.  

    The team assigned to the project will follow this matrix and complete the tasks accordingly. What job the team puts in which section of the priority grid would depend on the project, its urgency, and its value for the company. The significance or contribution of the priority matrix in project management is unmatchable as, without it, the team would have no direction for project completion. The diagram below is the prioritization matrix example, giving you an idea about its framework. 

    When to Use a Prioritization Matrix?

    Though every project in almost every business domain can benefit from the priority chart, there are certain situations where its use is inevitable. Let us discuss a few scenarios where using a matrix is helpful. 

    • Better time management 

    This technique is your saviour when you wish to work on business growth or expansion. The tool will help you identify the aspects you should focus on first and the steps you should follow toward success. You get a document that is more like a plan of action for the entire team, following which they can meet their business goals. 

    • Team Collaboration and Consensus 

    When there are multiple projects that a team must handle, they have to figure out which project needs funds on priority, and which can wait. Moreover, the teams working on these projects should also be in mutual agreement, which is only possible if there is strong logic backing the fact. Furthermore, the tool divides the tasks amongst the teams so well that it gets convenient to keep the entire team on the same page.  

    • Evaluating Projects 

    The tool also helps in evaluating the input data and identifies the bugs, if there are any. It gives clarity about what the project requires, and based on this information, you can assign tasks within the teams and deal with the most significant bugs on priority.  

    This technique will help sort your work by segregating the tasks for you. This way, your project delivery will be on time, you can use the resources to the fullest, and the jobs will get sorted without miscommunication or disagreements between the teams. The only thing you have to ensure is hiring the best professionals with a thorough understanding of this domain. They will examine the project requirements, resource availability, and other significant aspects and provide you with the solution prioritization matrix that would solve all your issues. 

    What is the Prioritization Matrix in Six Sigma?

    Six Sigma is the methodology for the continuous improvement of a project. The requirements keep changing with time and with the advancements in technology. Sometimes the company grows and wants to cater to the enhanced needs of their consumer. Other times, they may wish to upgrade their operations. Whatever the requirement is, the prioritization matrix in Six Sigma helps make all these changes and keeps the product capable enough to meet the needs.  

    Now, the upgradation task is tedious as there can be multiple requirements from the end user. Therefore, it is crucial for the team working on the project to list the jobs so that the most significant issues get resolved first. That is where the priority matrices help. It compares the assigned tasks, considering their value, urgency, and time and place them into the grid stating which part is of top priority and which one you can completely ignore. You will find multiple prioritization tools in Six Sigma that can assist in task division into three types of matrices. Let us discuss these three types in detail for better clarity.  

    Types of Prioritization Matrix

    There are three primary types of prioritization matrix, divided based on various factors, including the risk and opportunities involved, project budget, complexities, and much more. The three known types are: 

    • Fully Analytical 

    It is a bit more complicated than the other matrix types as there are multiple comparison matrices under the main one to compare the aspects of a task. Nevertheless, it would be an apt choice for smaller teams, and you should opt for it only when the decision you need to make is crucial for your business. 

    • Consensus Criteria 

    The consensus criterion is the best option when the tasks under question are less than ten or so, and each seems equally important. Moreover, it is a simplified form and does not involve any complex analysis like the analytical one.  

    • Combination Matrix 

    You can opt for a combination matrix for prioritizing cause-effect-based tasks. However, it requires expert guidance, as only a professional with hands-on experience can determine what job requires immediate attention.  

    The primary goal of every category is eliminating errors and continuously improving the products. So, the professional you hire would decide which type would be apt for your project. These experts learn the process prioritization matrix under the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training and understand how to do things for project success. So, the management only must ensure hiring the best experts who can handle things well.

    Prioritization Matrix Benefits

    We have discussed the significance of a prioritization matrix, stating how it sorts the tasks for various companies. Next, let us discuss a few benefits you can expect if you follow the priority strategy in any of your projects.  

    1. When there are multiple issues to be resolved, you may need to gain ground while trying to work on every task simultaneously. Prioritization would help you decide on a hierarchy in which you can complete the tasks, keeping things sorted and highly productive.  
    2. The matrix allows safe prioritization without any emotional baggage or corner for any task or person. Everything happens professionally without any interference.  
    3. Once you rely on prioritization matrices, rest assured that only the significant tasks will get accomplished first. The client will get satisfied as he gets the crucial issues resolved on priority, and the team will not feel any pressure. 
    4. One can track the project process with the help of priority matrices as it offers better and sorted visibility to everyone. Moreover, this visibility feature helps various team members to work on the same project collaboratively, irrespective of their geographical location.  
    5. The matrix keeps the team sorted by providing priority links, attaching important files, storing relevant data, and keeping all the notes related to the data. If anyone joins the project in the middle, the matrix provides a fair idea of the operations.  
    6. It increases the productivity levels of the teams as there is clarity about what task should get accomplished first. Furthermore, it helps in efficient resource planning and saves financial resources without compromising the quality or causing delays. 

    There are countless other perks of using these matrices. However, the prioritization and everything involved in the process should happen under the guidance of a qualified expert.  

    How to Use Priority Matrix?

    Prioritizing tasks and segregating the project into chunks requires a lot of efficiency and expertise. If you also plan to use the technique for your existing projects, follow the guidelines below for reference.  

    Step1: Plan a Criteria

    You already have the tasks segregated in front of you. So, your first and foremost job is to plan a strategy for implementation. Then, assign roles to people who would do the tasks put under top priority and similarly allocate resources.  

    Step2: Rate your Options

    The next step is to rate the tasks and divide resources like funds and manpower accordingly. A top-priority job means it requires attention and maximum resources. However, the ones you have in the do next phase should also get your attention. 

    Step3: Calculating Weighted Scores

    Check the weighted scores, which you get after comparing different tasks under the priority matrix grid. This score helps make fair comparisons based on which you can start with the project implementation.  

    Step4: Result Comparison

    It is the stage where you should hold open discussions within the teams to ensure everyone agrees upon the master list created after comparisons. Then, if there is a disagreement, you can redo the analysis.  

    It is the step-by-step strategy to create a Six Sigma prioritization matrix template. Other than this, there are a few things you need to keep in mind for the best results. 

    Things you should keep in consideration

    • Always choose the best tools to issue priority matrix examples. You will find multiple options in the market, each offering a variety of additional features. First, take a deeper look into what a tool offers, and then choose the one you feel is apt according to your budget and requirements.  
    • Hire the best professionals with a thorough understanding of the priority techniques and tools for efficient results. Ensure that the person has done a renowned certification like the Knowledgehut Lean Six Sigma Courses Online to prove their worth.  

    With these things under consideration and following the right steps, you can use the matrix for your benefit.

    Become a project management expert with our all-inclusive project management training and exam. Take control of your projects like a pro!

    Prioritization Matrix Examples and Templates

    To help your team understand the technique, we have shared priority matrix examples and template options. Understand that you need a tool to source the relevant or best-suited project prioritization matrix template. We have also shared some examples of tools offering these templates that can help you with decision-making. 

    1. Prioritization Matrix Example: Marketing

    The marketing division of every business can use this technique to determine how they can get the best returns on their investment. Simply put, they can use it to ensure they get the best sales and excellent revenue without splurging all their company funds on marketing.  

    The teams can divide the tasks based on priority or value and decide which service needs funds more than the other. For example, they would keep hiring a social media manager, running paid ads, and attracting target audiences as the priority. Furthermore, they can put the discount planning and offers into the do later stage. This way, they will know what tasks they need to complete first. Moreover, the resource allocation becomes sorted.  

    It also solves another purpose of the prioritization matrix, catering to the change. For example, if the HR department freezes all the hiring, that task will drop from the top priority and land into the elimination phase. Thus, keeping the grip sorted will help turn a project into a success.  

    2. Priority Matrix Template Examples

    You can find a plethora of feature prioritization matrix template examples in the market offered by the tools that help create a priority matrix. These templates will provide you with the basic layout of a time management priority matrix, requirements prioritization matrix, and much more. Some tools that can help you with the same are listed below. 

    3. Smartsheet

    It is a renowned workspace that businesses use as the preferred project management tool to sort their projects. Though it is a subscription-based platform, you can find multiple features that are free of cost. For example, you can find various options on the app's dashboard to choose domains like finance and accounting, human resources, marketing, and more. Selecting the field will give you relevant features, making it convenient for you to create a matrix. It also lets you download your files in pdf, excel, or word-file format. The screenshot below gives a fair idea of what the dashboard looks like.

    4. 2x2 Priority Matrix

    Another fruitful example in this domain is the 2x2 priority matrix template. It is the most commonly used as it yields efficient results. This template typically has four segments, just like the other templates, including: 

    • do it next 
    • do it now 
    • maybe 
    • never mind 

    Whether you are a project manager or a project lead, this matrix can help provide the best results. You can decide which issue is more crucial and should get resolved first and what campaigns are worth investing in. A typical 2x2 prioritization matrix template looks like this.

    5. Google Workspace Priority Matrix

    Google workspace is another renowned priority matrix tool developed with resources from the google family, like its cloud app and workspace environment. Some of the highlight features of this workspace are:  

    • Task delegation 
    • Managing assigned jobs 
    • Handling multiple projects at the same time 
    • Advanced filtering to sort the tasks 
    • Integrating Gmail, google docs, and other platforms into the matrix. 

    Though you can learn about its works by running the free trial, you would have to buy the subscription at a later stage.  

    These are paid tools; you should buy subscriptions to use advanced features. However, there are task priority matrix excel template free which can help if you have budget constraints.  

    Conclusion

    Task prioritization in any project can sort things and ensures enhanced productivity, zero flaws, and excellent outputs. It also proves productive and cost-effective for businesses as their resource utilization becomes apt. Thus, all these companies prefer hiring experts with a thorough understanding of the Six Sigma technique and all the methodologies like priority matrices that comes under it. Moreover, it is a promising career option for experts trying to build a career in this domain. So, if you find it fascinating, complete the certification and open the doors to success.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What does a prioritization matrix do?

    A priority matrix divides the project into tasks that are of top priority and those that you can eliminate from the list. 

    2What are the 4 levels of prioritizing tasks?

    Four levels of task prioritization are: 

    top priority; the tasks that need immediate attention do next; the next on the list which you should do after top priorities delegate; you should do them as and when you get time. eliminate, ones that you can completely ignore. 

    3What is a 2x2 prioritization matrix?

    It is a matrix that helps decide what tasks they should do first to complete the backlog and keep the process sorted. 

    4How do you prepare a prioritization matrix?

    There are tools with advanced features to create a prioritization matrix. You would only have to learn to use them to create one according to your requirements. 

    5What are the three types of prioritization categories?

    Three categories are fully analytical, Consensus Criteria, and combination matrix.

    6What is the prioritization framework?

    It is a tool to assess ideas based on their values and complexity. Using this, the concerned team can determine which tasks they need to complete on priority.

    Profile

    Shivender Sharma

    Blog Author

    Shivendra Sharma, an accomplished author of the international bestseller 'Being Yogi,' is a multifaceted professional. With an MBA in HR and a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, he boasts 15 years of experience in business and digital transformation, strategy consulting, and process improvement. As a member of the Technical Committee of the International Association of Six Sigma Certification (IASSC), he has led multi-million dollar savings through organization-wide transformation projects. Shivendra's expertise lies in deploying Lean and Six Sigma tools across global stakeholders in EMEA, North America, and APAC, achieving remarkable business results. 

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