Lean Management Systems


Decision Matrix template

also known as Impact Effort Matrix, PICK Matrix, Project Desirability Chart

Group decision making gets a whole lot easier
when your team agrees on a decision-making process.

The Impact Effort Matrix plots your alternatives on 4 visual quadrants depicting trade-offs between the impact that an alternative will probably have, and the effort required.

This Decision Matrix template was popularized as a tool for Six Sigma quality improvement,
but is an excellent decision-making tool for any type of business decision making.

Decision PICK Impact Effort Matrix

Sample Decision Matrix example
Download free trial

How to use your

Decision Matrix template

The instructions start out the same — whether you are using the Decision PICK Matrix or the Decision Matrix template.

Before getting started

Your leaders should have already defined your Impact Rating Scale.

On the DV sheet, your leaders define the rating scale that will appear in the dropdown lists.

Perhaps choose from these popular rating scale options.

Tip: If your team prefers

Effective-Achievable PICK Matrix

an Effective-Achievable Matrix

(the desired quadrant in the upper right)

rather than an Impact-Effort Matrix

(the desired quadrant is the upper left)

then with your Systems2win Decision PICK template, you can easily switch between Impact-Effort or Effective-Achievable.


Simply use the User Substitutions feature

and select 'Example'
from the dropdown list.

Open your template the usual way

Find and open your template

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win menu

Find and open your
Decision Matrix template (DecisionMatrix.xlsx)
or Decision PICK template (DecisionPICK.xlsx)

in the same way that you find and open
your other 150+ Systems2win templates.

If you don't yet own a license,
you can download your free trial now.

Save your working document

following the usual document storage and naming conventions established by your leaders

Open a Blank Sheet

Systems2win menu > Open a Blank Sheet

When you're ready to start doing your own real work...

click the button to 'Open a Blank Sheet'

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win tab > Open a Blank Sheet

This blank sheet is where you will do your real work

(not on the Sample sheet)

Rename your new sheet.

If English is not your preferred language

Switch to your language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.

Now your team is ready to get started...

Training Video:
Decision Making Tools


This Excel editing tips video
also includes training
for this template

  1. Define the decision that needs to be made

    Succinctly summarize the problem in the Title near the top of the page

    Ensure that everyone understands and agrees upon what is to be decided.

  2. Agree upon Objectives to evaluate
    proposed solutions to the problem

    To generate ideas —
    use brainstorming

    To clarify, prioritize, and reduce your list —
    use the Values List and other list reduction methods

  3. Assign weight of Importance for each objective

    Usually use a simple 0–10 scale. Larger number is more important.

    If this is a very important or complex decision —
    perhaps use the Prioritization Matrix
    to come up with more finely graded weights of importance.

  4. List Alternatives

    Perhaps use brainstorming

  5. List Objective Measures of Impact

    In the (unlimited) rows...
    list and estimate values for Objective Measures of Impact
    such as time savings, dollar savings, etc.

    Here is where things are a little different for the PICK Matrix vs. the simple Decision Matrix template.
    Let's start with the (more popular) PICK Matrix...

  6. Decision PICK MatrixAssign Impact ratings

    In the grid, use the dropdowns to choose from your team's chosen rating scale.

    Notice that when you enter a number into the Impact Rating grid,
    the background color and border automatically highlight any cell containing a number.

    If you enter a period (.) — that means that your team has agreed that the value is zero —
    and the cell remains white.
    If a cell is blank — that means that your team has not yet agreed upon an Impact Rating value.

    The Impact scores for each row will auto-calculate:

    Impact - Raw Score = Sum of (Impact * Importance)

    Impact = Calculation that sets the highest Raw Score as (10 * Max),
    and then all other scores are a percentage of that highest score (rounded to the nearest whole number)

  7. List Factors Affecting Effort

    In the (unlimited) rows...
    list and estimate values for Factors Affecting Effort such as
    time, dollar, or training requirements, measures of discomfort or unpleasantness, etc.

  8. Assign Effort ratings

    On a scale of 1–10, using whole numbers.

    Tip: Nothing will appear on the chart until you manually enter an Effort rating.

  9. Apply chart data labels Apply Chart Labels

    Version 13 and higher...

    In the Systems2win menu in the Excel Ribbon bar, select 'Apply Chart Labels'

    Version 12 and lower...

    Click the button to 'Apply Chart Labels'

    Tip: If you want your highest-rated alternative to have an Impact rating lower than 10,

    Max cell

    (because none of your alternatives are THAT good),
    then you can optionally adjust the scale for all of your alternatives
    by entering a value in the 'Max' cell.

  10. Make decisions

    The PICK Matrix chart makes it easy to visually see where each alternative falls
    in the quadrants to Proceed, Investigate, Consider, or Kill,
    but your team will probably want to use the Impact Effort Matrix as just one element
    of a less mechanical overall decision-making process.

    After some pleasant genteel discussion,
    (or a scratch & claw cat fight, depending on the nature of your team)...
    record your decisions in the bottom decision for Our Priority Ranking.

    If using the simple Decision Matrix template,
    then follow these instructions instead...

  11. Decision Matrix templateAssign Ratings

    In the grid, use the dropdowns to choose from your team's chosen rating scale.

    Notice that when you enter a number into the Rating grid,
    the background color and border automatically highlight any cell containing a number.

    If you enter a period (.) — that means that your team has agreed that the value is zero —
    and the cell remains white.
    If a cell is blank — that means that your team has not yet agreed upon a Rating value.

    The Scores will auto—calculate.

  12. Enter data for (optional) User Fields

    In the (unlimited) rows...
    list and estimate values for any (optional) User-Defined data that you want to analyze.

  13. Make decisions

    Discuss, then record your decisions in the bottom-line row for Our Priority Ranking.

    Please note that your final Priority Ranking may or may not identically match the calculated Scores,
    because your team may take into consideration additional factors.



As with all Systems2win templates,
you can use Systems2win Link Icons
to easily insert intuitive shapes
with hyperlinks to related documents.

Link icons Language icons

Use your Decision Making Matrix to reduce conflict

Having an agreed-upon decision-making tool can be particularly useful to counterbalance the personality differences common to almost every group of 2 or more people — where some people tend to be a little outspoken while others keep their (often better) ideas to themselves.

And an impact effort matrix decision-making tool can be especially useful in those uncomfortable moments
when you find yourself in the position of being the designated facilitator in a group that happens to include your boss.
Or your boss's boss.

Whether it's your career on the line, or just a mild desire to avoid any possibility of unnecessary conflict...
wouldn't it be nice to introduce your team to a decision tool as easy to use and as field proven as the Decision Matrix?


Bookmark = Reading

Quadrant Chart

Suggested Reading and Resources

Also see the Quadrant Chart template
which can be used to compare ANY two factors affecting an issue.

You can also do simple Effective Achievable Analysis
right within your To Do List template.

And see suggested reading for decision making tools


This Decision Matrix and many other decision making tools
come bundled with a lot of other useful
Continuous Improvement software

with a price low enough
to empower every team member




If your organization has not yet provided a license, you can download your free trial



This decision-making template comes with many other useful
Lean Management tools

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