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Prioritize your ideas with this Design Thinking trick



Impact Effort Matrix for Idea Prioritization

The market accelerates, products get new features and your organization gradually changes, which makes it imperative for you to ameliorate your sales enablement programs over time.

Design thinking is a powerful method to ideate, build and test solutions that respond to a specific problem or need. During its ideation phase, stakeholders gather to brainstorm new ideas without limitations, and by using the Impact Effort Matrix tool, stakeholders will be able to prioritize generated ideas into decisions that improve the sales enablement training program or any other matter.

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The Impact Effort Matrix helps you identify opportunities, the effort required to assess each opportunity and its potential impact. Sales enablement and training decision-makers benefit from this approach by identifying the scope and optimizing results over time.

Effort” refers to the necessary resources: budget, talent, time and dedication to undergo that improvement; and “Impact” measures the capacity to improve the initiative or action.


How to apply the Matrix during Design Thinking Ideation phase?

Follow the steps:

1. List the improvement actions you identified for your enablement training program.

2. Draw up a grid in which the level of impact is defined on the Y-axis, and the level of effort is represented on the X-axis.

3. Place each listed improvement action you want to assess in the matrix according to their impact and effort scale.

4. Once the actions are polluted in the grid, the matrix will give you prioritization levels based on the rated quadrants:


quadrant with areas A, B, C and D

A)   Low effort, high impact: These are quick wins, initiatives one must focus on.

B)   High effort, high impact: They can lead to strategic projects that must be planned in detail.

C)   Low effort, low impact: These minor initiatives can be left in the background.

D)   High effort, low impact: They will consume many resources without reward. These actions should be ruled out.


Some of these initiatives can be carried out effectively by your company, but those considered strategic projects might require a specialized third-party leader. The specialized leader will help ensure a smooth transition and integration with the appropriate systems and software platforms.


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FAQs about Idea Prioritization in Design Thinking

What is idea prioritization in Design Thinking?

Idea prioritization in Design Thinking involves evaluating and ranking ideas based on their value, feasibility, and potential impact. It aims to select the most promising ideas for development and implementation, focusing resources on solutions that address user needs and align with project goals. It ensures that the best ideas are chosen to create meaningful solutions.

What criteria can be used for prioritizing ideas in Design Thinking?

Some criteria that can be used for prioritizing ideas in Design Thinking include:

  • Impact: How much impact will the idea have on the problem it is trying to solve?
  • Effort: How much effort will be required to implement the idea?
  • Feasibility: How feasible is the idea? Is it technically possible to implement?
  • Timeline: How long will it take to implement the idea? How long for a first MVP?
  • Cost: How much will it cost to implement the idea?
  • Risk: What are the risks associated with implementing the idea?
  • Sustainability: How sustainable is the idea? Will it be able to continue to work overtime?
  • Scalability: How scalable is the idea? Can it be easily scaled up or down?

What is the Impact Effort Matrix and how can it help with idea prioritization?

The Impact Effort Matrix is a tool used during the ideation phase of design thinking to prioritize generated ideas based on their potential impact and the level of effort required. It helps identify opportunities and optimize results over time by categorizing actions into ranked quadrants.

What is an example of a low-effort, high-impact initiative in idea prioritization?

Low-effort, high-impact initiatives are quick wins you should focus on. These are actions that can bring significant positive results without requiring a substantial amount of resources. An example could be implementing a new onboarding process for sales representatives to improve their productivity and sales performance.

When should high-effort, high-impact initiatives be considered in idea prioritization?

High-effort, high-impact initiatives are strategic projects that require detailed planning. These actions can potentially bring substantial benefits, but they involve a significant investment of resources, such as budget, talent, or time. Consider these initiatives when you have the necessary resources and want to significantly impact a specific product line's strategy and long-term output.

Tatiana Gely

Tatiana is based in Silicon Valley and leads Opentrends’ business development endeavors in North America. With experience in international and domestic technology markets, Tatiana wears many hats as she’s involved in marketing, business and sales efforts. Her goal is to build a strong brand in the US and contribute to creating a solid presence in the US market.