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Value vs. Effort framework
Value vs. Effort framework
Gergő Mátyás avatar
Written by Gergő Mátyás
Updated over a week ago



The Value vs. Effort prioritization framework is one of the simplest ways to decide what to build next. One of the most significant benefits of the framework is the flexibility of value and effort can mean various things in different use cases.

One of the most significant benefits of the Value vs. Effort framework is the flexibility of value and effort can mean various things to different companies and organizations.

Value vs. Effort criteria


To rate the value of an item, ask, "How does this contribute to our goal." A goal can be anything that you are focusing on in your project. For example, increasing customer satisfaction, getting more closed deals, increasing code quality, etc. Don't forget to unify values with the team for each category:

  • Barely impactful

  • Slightly impactful

  • Moderately impactful

  • Highly impactful

  • Extremely impactful


This metric clarifies "How difficult it is to deliver the task." Don't forget to assess the effort of your whole team, the Effort should be based on the estimation of all parties involved.

  • XS

  • S

  • M

  • L

  • XL


  • Bringing your team in on the decision-making process by letting them decide which projects to tackle first can help them feel more connected to their work and improve workflow.

  • Agree on time frames e.g., we calculate the impact for the next three months.

  • Discuss and unify the values with the team before starting a prioritization session - it improves the scoring method, and everybody will be on the same page on scores.

Value vs. Effort priority matrix

Based on your scoring, feature ideas or initiatives can be visualized on a matrix. It defines categories that are additional information to the priority score.

Quick wins - Do these first to bring value and see results in no time! Big value for the lowest effort.

Big bets - will bring huge value, but they usually require more time and resources. Plan for them properly.

Fill-ins - Do these in your spare time. They won't require too much time, so you can do them while waiting between tasks.

Time sinks - These items take too long to complete, and the value isn't that big. Leave them as last or skip them altogether.

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