Font Size
Six Sigma Tools & Templates Templates Prioritization Matrix Is Made Easier with a Template

Prioritization Matrix Is Made Easier with a Template

The prioritization matrix is a great tool, but it does not seem to be used as much as it could be. The reason is probably because it takes a lot of time to do manually, and it can be confusing. To make the tool more usable, this article is accompanied by an automated template in the form of an Excel spreadsheet

The prioritization matrix, also know as the criteria matrix, is used to compare choices relative to criteria like price, service, ease of use and almost any other factor desired. 

While this tool can be used effectively by an individual, it is great for helping Six Sigma project teams with decision making. The “seven management and planning tools” was taught to many by Michael Brassard, who wrote The Memory Jogger II in 1994. In his book, he said the prioritization matrix is said to: 

  • Quickly surface basic disagreements so that they may be resolved up front.
  • Force a team to focus on the best things to do, not everything they could do, dramatically increasing the chances for implementation success.
  • Limit hidden agendas by surfacing the criteria as a necessary part of the process.
  • Increase the chance of follow-through because consensus is sought at each step in the process (from criteria to conclusions).
  • Reduce the chances of selecting someone’s pet project.

Within the Six Sigma methodology, there are several places where this tool is just made for the job – from selecting projects, to determining which measurement instrument to use, to control the new processes. This tool can be useful in resolving the tradeoffs necessary in product and service design like those indicated in the “roof” of the quality function deployment house of quality. The tool is used extensively in making business decisions and in facilitating teams. (The author has even used it in choosing a house – comparing prices, numbers of rooms, garage sizes and locations.) 

On the prioritization matrix Excel spreadsheet, up to nine criteria can be entered, but the number of criteria can be expanded if necessary. Importantly, the spreadsheet allows weights to be assigned to the criteria since not all criteria are of equal importance. 

The example used in the explanation of the matrix is from on a fictitious project to evaluate and choose knowledge management software. Here is a step-by-step outline of how the matrix is used: 

Step 1: Open the Excel spreadsheet. Enter each of the criteria for judging a product or process on a separate line in the first column of initial gray box titled “criteria weight” (Figure 1), replacing existing criteria (or criteria #) with the new criteria. The criteria entered automatically will be placed in all the following comparison matrices, the summary matrix and the selection graph.

Figure 1: Criteria Weight

Figure 1: Criteria Weight

Figure 2: Values

Figure 2: Values

Step 2: Compare the first criteria to each of the others by choosing the most appropriate value from the values chart (Figure 2) and putting it in the matrix. (Note: Clicking on the “values” window will allow it to be dragged out of the way and repositioned to any location on the spreadsheet. Teams need this reference, particularly at first, to remind them of the evaluation description and its value.) 

In the example, the first comparison is between “little to no customization necessary” and “service costs.” The number 0.20 was entered, which indicates the team’s evaluation was that little need for customization to be of “less value” than service costs. The matrix automatically enters the reciprocal of less value, which obviously is “more value,” or the number 5.00, in the appropriate place on the service costs line. 

Continue the process by comparing the first criteria with each other criteria on the list. Then repeat the process for the criteria on the second, third, fourth, etc. lines, comparing them to the criteria not yet compared. Only put a value in the solid gray areas; the reciprocal value will be calculated and inserted in the light gray areas automatically. 

Step 3: Enter each of the products or processes being evaluated on a separate line in the first column of the second gray box (Figure 3). The entries automatically will be placed in all the other comparison matrices, the summary matrix and the summary graph.

Figure 3: Product or Process Entry

Figure 3: Product or Process Entry

Step 4: Now, compare the choices to one another considering each criteria. The team should use the same values that were used to compare the criteria, or characteristics, one to another. In the example, the “MicroLog” product was rated by the team as “much more value” (10.00) than the “EMG” product in terms of little need for customization. Consequently the reciprocal value, or 0.10, was automatically entered for the EMG offering. Again, the team need only put a value in the solid gray areas; the reciprocal values automatically will be calculated for the light gray areas. 

Step 5: After all the entries are made, results can be read in the summary matrix (Figure 4) and the selection graph (Figure 5).

Figure 4: Summary Matrix

Figure 4: Summary Matrix

Figure 5: Selection Graph

Figure 5: Selection Graph

Register Now

  • Stop this in-your-face notice
  • Reserve your username
  • Follow people you like, learn from
  • Extend your profile
  • Gain reputation for your contributions
  • No annoying captchas across site
And much more! C'mon, register now.

Leave a Comment


Mario 01-05-2014, 11:06

This is a fantastic tool. Can I get an unlocked version for credit and citation when utilized?

Many thanks!


Profile photo of bill bates
bill bates 14-05-2014, 11:43

This is exactly what my OE Steering Committee is looking for. Many I have an unlocked version of the template? Many Thx

Profile photo of bill bates
bill bates 14-05-2014, 12:30

Please send me an unlocked version of the Template. Many Thx

Profile photo of nick
nick 14-05-2014, 22:28

Thank you very much, would you please tell me the uprotect keywords of the template or send me an unlocked version ,thanks!


Ryan W 19-05-2014, 08:55

This is great. Do you mind sending me an unlocked copy? Thanks so much!

Jason Atkins 20-05-2014, 08:49

Was anyone ever able to get an unlocked copy?

Ravi 06-06-2014, 08:52

Hi Edward,

This is very useful, can you share the unlocked version

Ravi Uppal

Jeff Shaw 11-06-2014, 08:16

Excellent, already used it and already forwarded your site as the source!

Can I get the unlocked version?



Profile photo of Bartjc
Bartjc 26-06-2014, 09:56

Exactly what I am looking for. Recognition will definitely be passed on to you and yours. Please send unlocked version.
Thank you.

Ken 09-07-2014, 09:43

Would it be possible to get an unlocked version of this?


Tori Brady 14-07-2014, 02:51

Excellent tool that i woudl love to use and give credit to. Can i have the unlocked version?

SimonetJ 15-07-2014, 06:18

Thanks for this nice and very useful tool.
However, I think there’s a mistake in cell R9. This one doesn’t work.
The formula is “=IF(…,M1*M9)” instead, I guess, of “=IF(…,M101*M9)”.
Could you send the password to unlock this file, or post a corrected version, please?
By advance, thanks,

Melissa 16-07-2014, 11:31

Hi Edward,

Great template! I have been looking for a tool like this to leverage for one of my projects. Could you please send me the unlocked version? I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you!

Profile photo of sam.loomis
sam.loomis 17-07-2014, 11:46

Please send me an unlocked of this template.



Robin 27-07-2014, 17:25

Many thanks for sharing this – is there a template that is not locked? I would love to have one sent to me if it is available….

Thank you,

Will Carter 28-07-2014, 12:24

This looks like an awesome tool.May I have an unlocked version of the template?

Thanks in advance,


Tristan 01-08-2014, 07:05

This is a great tool! Can you please send me an unlocked version of the spreadsheet?


Lynn 01-08-2014, 12:09

This is very similar to something we used to use in the early nineties, must have been from M Brassard. Thank you for bringing it out again. Could you send me the password to set my own crteria and weighting? Thanks!

Dave McConnell 15-08-2014, 12:24

This looks like an extremely useful tool for our team. May I please have an unlocked copy of the template as well?

Many thanks,


Janea 25-08-2014, 14:22

This is great! Can you please send an unlocked version of this template?

Lisa 01-09-2014, 15:36

Hi – great tool. Can you please send an unlocked version?

Many thanks.


su 11-09-2014, 10:20

Can I get the password to unlock this template? Pls. advise. Su

Glenn 11-09-2014, 12:18

This is fantastic and good be very beneficial for my team. May I please have an unlocked copy of the template?



Neal 15-09-2014, 21:19

Looks a great tool are you able to send me a copy please?


Joshua 17-09-2014, 10:50

Can I get the unlocked version.

Marlene Newton 18-09-2014, 13:06

Has anyone got an unlocked version of the X-cel file? If so please let me know asap. Thanks.

Lutfi 13-10-2014, 09:12

Great matrix, really help, could you share unlocked version?.


Lori 14-10-2014, 09:24

This is exactly what I am looking for. May I have an unlocked version of the template?

Greg Clark 16-10-2014, 15:39

Hi, this is exactly what I’m looking for. Can I get an unlocked version?

Henry 25-10-2014, 08:01

Great tool! How does one acquire an unlocked version of the spreadsheet?


Gigal 30-10-2014, 14:20

Awesome tool. Can I get unlocked version please?

Thanks in advance.

Barry 03-11-2014, 06:12

Looks like a nice tool. Can you send me a unlocked version so I can add additional criteria rows? Thank you

John T. Reeve, PhD 08-11-2014, 08:51

I’m a retired prof from UCLA, 81, living in a nursing home (senior facility-assisted living. I am shopping/comparing other similar facilities for a possible change. I am having trouble deciding which of the local organizations to choose; and I thought I might use a decision-making matrix, but I’m having trouble finding one — one that is simple to transfer to my system and use — can you help me? Thank you, The Lost Dr.Tom

Profile photo of Mark Siira
Mark Siira 22-11-2014, 10:22

Nicely laid out tool. Could you please send the unlocked version? Thanks in advance.



Login Form