Thursday, July 11, 2013

Eisenhower's Decision Matrix

Source: "How to Choose What to Work On, and When to Work On It"
I like that the axes suggest continuous variables, recognizing that importance and urgency are not binary scales.

Eisenhower was Commander in Chief and President. He had millions of people working for him to whom he could delegate work, but few if any people above him that he could pass work that was "above his pay grade". For most of us lesser people, there might be added points:

  • For urgent, but not important: is there someone I can get to do this, or do I have to do it myself?
  • For important, whether urgent or not: can I buck this upstairs?
Of course when you go to continuous scales, you get problems. What happens if you have two things in your inbox, both urgent and both important, However they more urgent is the less important. And you can't buck either to someone else to take care of. Which one do you do first? How much effort do you attach to each so that both will be completed within schedule and both with satisfice (not satisfy) the standards for completeness and quality?

Still an interesting tool for better making some decisions!

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