Strategize and prioritize with an impact effort matrix

Not everything can be at the top of your to-do list. Use an impact vs. effort matrix to help you determine the most effective course of action—creating the most impact while exerting the least effort.

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Impact effort matrix template

Gain powerful insight into your most pressing priorities, and discuss proposed solutions with everyone on your team, no matter where they are.

Straight A’s for effort

Improve performance across departments by empowering your team members to tackle tasks that make a difference.

Assess: Examine where each team member’s time is spent, then determine how to better allocate it.

Align: Ensure that goals and priorities match up with the impact they’ll have and the effort it’ll take to make them happen.

Achieve: Reach new levels of productivity by focusing on what matters and setting aside what doesn’t—for now.

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All impact, no effort

FigJam’s effort impact matrix template takes the pain out of prioritizing. Intuitive design tools, online accessibility, and useful widgets like Lil Notes and emotes will empower your team to collaborate seamlessly. After all, making an impact is a group effort.

Write it down to work it out

No effort needed to make an impact with every meeting. FigJam meeting templates are the perfect place to organize task lists, keep notes, and give feedback.


An impact effort matrix is used to assess the relative difficulty and potential effectiveness of a task to establish the order of operations that will benefit the project the most. By organizing tasks according to both metrics (high vs. low impact and high vs. low effort), you’ll clearly identify the next steps that make the most sense: those that have a high impact but require the lowest output.

Here are three easy steps to help you complete an effort vs impact matrix:

1. Download our editable impact effort matrix template to use as your blank canvas. On one axis, you’ll see impact (high at the top and low at the bottom) and on the other axis, you’ll see effort (high on the right and low on the left).

2. With your project’s or company’s end goal in mind, start plotting tasks and assignments on this four-quadrant matrix. Think about high-impact tasks first, as these will bring you quick wins closest to your objective—then, determine whether they’ll take a lot or little effort to complete. High-impact, low-effort tasks are considered quick fixes or easy wins, while high-impact, high-effort tasks will be major undertakings but with serious incentives.

Next, do the same for low-impact tasks, sorting them by high and low effort, as well. Low-impact, low-effort can be fill-in jobs for when you have a little extra time, whereas low-impact and high-effort tasks are often a waste of time, money, and resources.

3. Use the results of your matrix to create a priority list or schedule, taking both impact and effort into account. What can you do quickly that will seriously benefit your organization? What will take up more time and resources, but will ultimately be worth it in the end? And what can you put off until your busy season has passed (or strike off the docket altogether)?

The process of calculating impact and effort will be different from team to team. With FigJam, you can use polls or reacts to easily rank each item between one and ten, or create spreadsheets that calculate exact costs and time commitments—it all depends on what works for you.

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