The Ease / Benefit matrix is a simple tool which helps with prioritizing actions. It works by comparing how easy a set of actions are, and how much benefit they each yield. Those with the highest benefit and lowest effort are prioritized.

Summary by The World of Work Project

The Ease Benefit Matrix

An ease / benefit matrix is a simple 2×2 grid with benefit on the vertical axis and ease on the horizontal ease. The matrix is used to help prioritize between a selection of potential options.

An example The Ease / Benefit Matrix in use

To use the Ease / Benefit Matrix, simply go through each of the options or courses of action that you’ve identified as things that you might do, and place each option on the matrix. The easier you think an option is to do, the further to the right you place it. The more benefit you think addressing it will bring, the further up you place it.

This doesn’t need to be exact, it’s just to give you a rough sense. Go through all of your options, placing each of them on the matrix.

Once you’ve placed all your options in the matrix, you’ll be able to easily see which ones provide the highest return on effort as they’ll all be to the upper right of the matrix. These are the ones that you should start with. As you complete these options, you should progressively move diagonally down and left through your matrix, tackling further options as you go.

Note – this matrix is also presented with “effort” on the horizontal as opposed to ease. Both approaches work equally well, so just choose whatever seems easiest to you.

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Learning More

The Ease / Benefit Matrix is a useful tool for teams. It helps them prioritize the actions that will help them achieve their vision and to decide where to start when problem solving. It’s also a useful tool for personal effectiveness and can compliment the Eisenhower matrix well.

To learn more about personal effectiveness, you might enjoy our podcast on the subject which you can listen to below:

The World of Work Project View

There’s not much to add here. The The Ease / Benefit Matrix is a simple tool that can be helpful, particularly when used as a too to support group prioritization. It’s not an exact science, but it doesn’t need to be.

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The information in this post is based on our experiences of using these tools in the workplace and there are no real references for it.

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