How you can prioritize ideas after a brainstorming session?

If after a brainstorming session, you have a lot of excellent ideas to improve or redesign the process, you have a sweet problem on your hands.  You and your team cannot implement all of them, you would have to go through validation, and prioritization process to choose those that will happen now, later, or maybe never.

To choose the ideas that require less effort and create more impact, you need a prioritization tool.  The prioritization matrix shown below is the one I use.  It shows a graph that measures effort along the x-axis and impact along the y-axis.  Each axis was divided by half, creating four boxes.  Each one represents a different action based on the level of impact on the desired results and the level of effort need it to achieve it.  

The options are the following.

  1. High impact, low effort – These are quick wins, prioritize these ideas.
  2. High impact, high effort – Ideas under this box deserve action, maybe they can’t be completed within a week or required more resources but should be next in priority.
  3. Low impact, low effort – Consider implementing ideas within this box.  You can do them when there is time available.  Some people think about this category as fill-ins.
  4. Low impact, high effort – Ideas that have low to no impact in the desired condition can represent a waste of resources, do not do them.

This is how you prioritize the ideas.

  1. After brainstorming, assign a number to each idea.  
  2. Draw the prioritization matrix in a whiteboard or flipchart.
  3. With the participation of the same team that generate the ideas, classify each one in one of those boxes.  
  4. Select the ideas for short-term implementation.

The next step is to select a leader and team for each initiative.  In no time, you all are going to be ready to have more fun!