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Project Prioritization Matrix

Project Prioritization template for Priority Matrix Project Management

Project Priority Matrix

for Lean Six Sigma Opportunity Analysis

One popular use for your decision making template

is to analyze, select, and prioritize Lean Six Sigma projects



What should we work on next?

How to use your

Project Prioritization template

Choose the right project priority matrix template

The training on this page assumes that you are using your Decision Matrix Quadrant Chart (DecisionPICK.xlsx) for the purpose of selecting and prioritizing Lean Six Sigma projects

You might, however, choose to use one of your other decision making tools for either more or less thorough decision making analysis.

Decision Matrix template for project prioritization

Follow the usual instructions for how to use your template

When you get to the steps where you choose factors affecting Impact and Effort...

then the training on this page will give you lots of ideas for factors that you might consider.

Project Priority Matrix

Project Selection Criteria — Impact

Potential Objectives for Lean Six Sigma Projects

After coming up with a long list of potential Objectives

(perhaps using brainstorming methods and/or your Values List template...)

then narrow down your list of Impact Objectives, using the following list of potential considerations:

Customer Impact

Contribution to customer Critical to Quality factors.

Most of your objectives should come from your 'Critical To' analysis.

Critical To Quality, Critical To Delivery, Critical to Customer Satisfaction...

Are the expected benefits significant enough?

Perhaps use your templates for Voice of the Customer Analysis

Are there direct measurable benefits to specific key customers?

Itemize them.

Financial Impact

Ideally both hard dollars and soft dollar impacts from customer satisfaction.


Is there a burning platform?

Are customers complaining or defecting?

Don't artificially invent a burning platform, but if you face an honest potential crisis... use it for motivation.

Do all stakeholders agree this is a major problem?

Perhaps use your templates for stakeholder analysis.

Alignment with Strategic Objectives

Synergy (or conflict) with other existing and proposed initiatives.

How does each proposed Alternative contribute to this team's Hoshin Plan?

Values List for Project Prioritization

Critical To Quality

Voice of the Customer

Change Management

X Matrix

Project Charter

SWOT Analysis

How well does this project use or contribute to Strengths?
Avoid or shore up Weaknesses?
Take advantage of Opportunities?
Avoid or alleviate Threats?

Clear Scope and Boundaries

How well is the Project Charter scoped?

What are the risks that the scope of this project will creep?

Specific and Measurable

Are all Objectives and Targets narrowly defined, and objectively measurable?

Not 'improve delivery time', but perhaps 'average 2 day lead time'.
Not 'reduce defects', but perhaps 'specific defect < 10 pmo'

Project Prioritization Matrix

Project Prioritization Criteria — Effort

Potential Factors affecting Achievability

The very first instruction for using your Decision Matrix template

is to use the dropdown list to choose either:

  1. Impact Effort, or
  2. Effective Achievable
Decision Matrix chart type

The following list of potential factors affecting Achievability assumes that you chose 'Effective Achievable'.

If your chose 'Impact Effort', then you will need to rephrase all criteria so that a lower score is more desirable.

Lower Effort is more desirable.

Higher Achievability is more desirable.

Enthusiasm of Leadership

Enthusiasm of Executive Sponsor Change Agent

Enthusiasm of Project Leader and Team

Enthusiasm of all Stakeholders affected by the project

Or stated the opposite for 'Effort'...

How much effort might be needed to counter potential resistance?

Again... use your Change Management tools

Team Availability

Who is needed for which proposed Alternatives?

What is their availability?

Resource Availability

What resources are needed?

What is their availability?

How much investment is needed?

Ocean Liner

How easy is it to turn your ship?

Data Availability

What data is needed?

Does that data exist?

How easily can it be obtained?

Use your Voice of the Customer Data Collection template

Control of Variables and Risks

To what degree does this team have control over the possibility that the project will not yield desired results?

Customer? Nature? Are all variables known?

Will a cross-functional team be required? Are all areas of the value stream adequately involved and committed?


Is this process stable?

Not just SPC, but also consider leadership and other factors.

Is it expected to remain stable?

Or are potential changes on the horizon?

If not stable... then the only acceptable type of project is a 'Just Do It'.

See types of projects below.

Probability of Successful Implementation

Anything other factors that might affect successful implementation?


Return to Decision Matrix training


Project Prioritization

Project Type

Additional Considerations

At the bottom of your Impact Effort Matrix there is a section for 'Other Considerations'

In addition to Impact and Effort, another major consideration is...

What type of approach might be best for each proposed project?

You can easily define your own dropdown list of your own project types

on the DV sheet...

(the same way that you define dropdown lists in all of your other 150+ templates)

Types of Lean Six Sigma Projects

Just Do It


To quickly implement an obviously good idea perhaps using your One Good Idea template or perhaps using Jidoka swarming or perhaps just handle it as part of Leader Standard Work

If there is already an obvious good solution then JDI is the only correct approach.

Every one of the other approaches (listed below) are only appropriate if there is doubt that an initial 'shoot-from-the-hip' proposal might not turn out to be the best solution after all.

One Good Idea Storyboard
Leader Standard Work

Value Stream Event


To improve flow between processes in a value stream, and accomplish any or all of the other purposes of value stream mapping

Value Stream Map

Lean Methods


To improve flow within each process and accomplish any or all of the other purposes of lean process improvement

If your value stream has not yet passed the acid test for lean transformation, then there really shouldn't be any debate.

Your priorities for that value stream should be focused on lean flow, visual management, and standard work.

If you don't have those things in place, then anything else that you try is just going to soon be a distant failed memory anyway... so why start?

Standard Work Audit
SQDC Quality

DMAIC Quality Improvement


To improve reliability and quality using the DMAIC method and Six Sigma tools

If your problem is complex enough to require a certified Black Belt because you suspect interrelationships between multiple Y variables, then it's time to dig in and authorize the time and cost of a lengthy, complicated Six Sigma project.

If there are any simpler hypotheses that might be resolved using the Green Belt level Seven Basic Tools of Quality... then try those first!

Control Chart template

Design for Six Sigma


To develop a new or improved product or service perhaps using the DMADV method and DFSS tools or perhaps using Process Engineering or (most commonly) using DFMEA and PMFEA


Root Cause Analysis


To identify root causes of a problem

If there is not yet consensus about root causes, then it is often wise to authorize a project with the scope limited to the mission of identifying root causes... before authorizing a larger project to 'solve the problem'.

After thorough Root Cause Analysis, the subsequent 'solution' phase might be a simple 'Just Do It'.

Root Cause Map

A3 Problem Solving


To thoroughly and systematically solve an important problem

If your organization is going to use only one problem solving method, then A3 problem solving is probably the right choice.

It is flexible, robust, and time-efficient, and is easily monitored and managed.

A3 Report

Kaizen Event


To radically improve a process in a very short amount of time

If you have the luxury of locking several high-level people in a room for several days then the best way to make big changes quickly is a Kaizen Event.

Event Checklist

Lengthy Project


Traditional project management tools If you need to move facilities, or merge and acquisition, or plan the Christmas party...

the Gantt Chart is not dead.

Gantt Chart

Training & Education


To increase awareness and competence with Lean Training & Education

To train and mentor people to do things the same way every time

(whether or not your organization is officially ISO 9000 certified)

Work Instructions

Process Improvement Programs

In addition to the types of Lean Six Sigma projects (listed above), many organizations also have on-going Process Improvement Programs

They are on-going... endless... They don't have a defined ending.

Strategic Planning & Alignment


To do periodic strategic planning, (perhaps at multiple Hoshin levels), and then to effectively coordinate and deploy those strategically aligned initiatives.

X Matrix

Improvement Kata / Coaching Kata


To consistently and systematically apply PDCA problem solving throughout multiple layers of management.

We reluctantly put this in the 'Programs' section because each new Strategic Objective is essentially a mini-project, but one of the primary differences of the Kata approach is that it tends to be deployed with quasi-religious fervor, and the instant that one problem is solved, each team is encouraged to actively seek another new target

Strategies worksheet
PDCA Coacing



To establish habits and culture to reveal problems

Hidden problems can't be solved and 5S is usually a cornerstone program in most lean organizations

5S Scorecard

Preventive Maintenance


To identify, reduce, and eliminate causes of downtime

TPM is usually an ongoing program; not a one-time project.


Lean Management Systems


To coach and develop lean leadership using Lean Management Systems

Prioritization Matrix

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Task Prioritization

Once you have selected your projects, you need to manage them.

Your Systems2win templates also empower you with several Project Management Tools

to prioritize and manage tasks in several popular, field-proven ways.

Project Prioritization template

and 150+ templates to empower your team leaders


to lead ANY type of project or program for process improvement






Kaizen templates

Similar, familiar tools for
Continuous Improvement


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