Easy High Impact

Easy High Impact

Which of your ideas and projects should take priority? Which will offer the best return for the least resources? If some of your ideas look great but seem hard to achieve, can you simplify or streamline them so they take less resources or effort?

In Detail

This is a great technique that we use on all sorts of projects. It's great for working out priorities, identifying strengths and making decisions. It can also help you use constraints to focus your thinking.

Using a flipchart or large piece of paper, draw a large plus sign. At the top write "Easy", and at the bottom write "Hard". On the left, write "Low Impact", and on the right "High Impact”.

Then, write all your ideas, projects or ambitions on individual post-it notes (so each idea has its own post-it). Then, stick them up on the target.

Place them according to how easy / hard they will be to achieve, and how high / low impact they will be in terms of end result.

Once you've finished sticking them all on the target, you can start to make plans as a result.

A simple framework for identifying opportunities and priorities

The first place to look is the top-right corner. These are the ideas that will deliver the highest impact for the least effort / resources. These should be your immediate priority!

Next, look at the bottom-right corner. Is there anything you can do to move them up towards "Easy"? Can they be simplified or streamlined, or can you add more resources? Can you further develop these ideas so they will be easier to deliver?

Next comes the top-left corner. If there are any of these that are particularly easy, they can be considered.

And finally the bottom-left. In most cases, these won't be worth pursuing - so discard them.

Using our focus on constraints, use this technique to force you to only work on the ideas or projects you've put in the easy, high impact quadrant.

If anything doesn't fit into this quadrant, change them so they do. So for instance the hard, high impact ones - try and simplify them.

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