A Prioritization Matrix is a technique used to achieve consensus within a specific group of participants about an issue. The Matrix helps rank problems or issues (usually generated through brainstorming or other techniques) by a particular criteria that is important to the project, as defined by the participants. This allows participants to clearly see which issues are the most important to work on solving first. Prioritization matrices are used to determine what participants consider to be the most pressing issues. (Adapted from //The Guide to Managing for Quality//)
A prioritization matrix can use whatever resources are available to create a table of issues and boxes for participants to cast their "votes." Tools can include whiteboards, computer databases, or twigs and stones in a field trip setting. The important thing is to list all the issues, to determine the frequency with which problems arise in relation to an issue, the importance the people give to this, and to count the votes to determine what is seen by the majority of people as a priority.
This page originally copied with permission from the Citizens Science Toolbox