# Prioritizing WITHIN the priority matrix

• – MCW Sep 13 '16 at 11:28

Not sure if this is exactly what you're asking about, and pardon my shameless plug, but at work (we make Priority Matrix), we use the icon system heavily, with a preference for levels 1, 3 and 9. The reason is that we want to force ourselves to think whether something is a must-have (9), should-have (3) or nice-to-have (1). We could pick any arbitrary numbers, but having order of magnitude differences makes it harder to fudge a rough middle-ground priority that's really hard to compare later on.

Anyway, with this technique, the system still lets you sort by creation date, timestamp, completion, and other dimensions, without losing track of the actual micro-level priority that was agreed upon.

This post on Prioritization Matrix seems to be what you are referring to.

They number things from 1 to 5 as follows:

• This is more of what I'm talking about, but with a straight 1,2,3,4,... number system. But the object is the same: you assign values to certain tasks and then add up the values to get your prioritization. processexcellencenetwork.com/… – Elorah Sep 13 '16 at 14:56

The approach you are writing about is called Pairwise comparison.

I'm having trouble remembering the number system and how to rate the tasks

There are many ways to rank the tasks. The simplest would be to just use 0-0.5-1 rank (lose-tie-win). A more complex way would be to create a list of comparison criteria, assign them weight and then make a weighted comparison against each criterion. You can find an example matrix for this approach here.

You may want to take into account that effort to make a pairwise comparison will grow as n2, where n is the number of tasks.