Effort x Value provides a fast way to prioritize a list of items, by relatively comparing the effort to complete the item and how valuable it is.

Running the activity:

  1. Draw the Effort x Value graph and place the items from the previous activity near it.
  2. Ask participants to grade each item and place them in the graph, positioned accordingly:
    * Effort: How much does it take to address this item?
    * Value: How much value will this bring?
  3. Identify the top ranked items (low effort, high value) as the ones that will be tackled by the team.

This activity is inspired by Fabio Pereira’s post on Technical Debt Wall Retrospective. It is very effective for filtering out the items, prioritizing the ones with higher return.


Remote-team advice: This activity works well for remote teams. Use a remote board that allows the input to be moved freely. After participants add their notes to the main course activity, ask them to move their notes to the graph area as they filter it.