Map and evaluate possible actions based on: 1) effort and cost required to implement, 2) potential impact (long-term vs. short-term payoff). 

👥 From 3 to 10 participants | ⏰ between 30 and 60 minutes


In this exercise, possible actions are mapped based on two factors: effort required to implement and potential impact. Categorizing ideas in this way is a useful technique in making decisions, as it requires everyone in the group to balance and evaluate suggested actions before committing to them. 

As you place your ideas into the matrix, the group may openly discuss the position of elements. An idea can be bolstered by the group, moving it up in potential impact or down in effort. The category of high impact, low effort will often hold the set of ideas that your group most agrees upon and is committed to. 


Given a goal, a group may have a number of ideas for how to achieve it. 

To open the exercise, frame the goal in terms of a “What to do” or “What we need” question. This may sound as simple as “What do we need to reach our goal?” Ask the group to generate ideas individually on sticky notes. 

Then, using Post-Up, ask them to present their ideas back to the group by placing them within a 2×2 matrix that is organized by impact and effort: Impact: The potential payoff of the action, vs. Effort: The cost of taking the action