If you have the challenge of prioritizing tasks, what you need is a GUT Matrix.
Do not you know how it works? I’ll explain it to you right now.
To start our talk, I am going to share your pain.
Managing a company efficiently and intelligently can be a mission not as easy as it sounds.
Perhaps it requires the performance of specialized professionals, which generates expenses that are not included in the budget of small businesses.
However, I have good news for you.
There are a variety of tools available to support the work of administrators and improve the quality level of their management.
Among them is the GUT Matrix.
Do you know why?
Well, because it is a management tool that can be easily applied within any company.
It also offers the possibility to focus on the most serious problems, those that demand the most attention.
In addition to contributing to the development of strategic planning aimed at solving them.
If you still don’t know much about the subject, but you want to take advantage of the technique in your company, you are reading the indicated article.
At the end of the reading, you will be aware of what the GUT Matrix is, what it is for, its concepts and advantages.
Likewise, you will learn to assemble a GUT Matrix, and of course, I will give you an example of its application.
What is the Matrix GUT?
GUT matrix is the management tool used to prioritize tasks. By identifying the urgency, severity, and behavioral trend of each business problem, it helps the manager decide what should be done first.
As well as SWOT Analysis, it makes it possible to analyze both the internal and external environment.
In this way, it recognizes situations inside and outside the organization.
It is a tool used by companies for project management and making relevant strategic decisions.
It allows to quantify problems of the organization and tasks that must be executed.
It gives a score to each aspect, which varies according to the degree of priority it has.
It is an easy method to apply and provides effective results.
The term GUT corresponds to the acronym Gravity, Urgency and Tendency. The true objective of the tool revolves around these three elements.
That is, by relying on the perspective of the seriousness of the problem, the urgency of solving it and the trend that it indicates (if it becomes complicated slowly or quickly), the organization manages to define, in order of priority, the actions to be followed.
Therefore, it makes it easier for the manager to choose which procedures are more favorable for the company.
What is it for?
By understanding the GUT Matrix in all its dimensions, it will be easier to understand the ways of using it.
It is a fact that any company, be it small, medium or large, faces its own problems and challenges.
At the end of the day, the market is dynamic and competitive.
Not always what worked before, continues in force to achieve business objectives.
And then, there is no way out: it is necessary to act so as not to run the risk of being left behind, of exposing performance, and even business continuity.
For this reason, intelligent management represents a decisive factor for the success of any organization.
And the good news is that there are manageable execution administrative tools that help in that regard.
According to what has been explained, the GUT matrix serves to support decision-making by the managers of an organization.
It is a fantastic tool in quality management.
Due to its versatile characteristics, it is closely linked to the “Plan” phase of the PDCA Cycle.
For those who do not know, the PDCA Cycle is a methodology popularized in the 1950s, and since then, it has been widely used by companies to improve their management through the intelligent control of their processes and internal and external activities of the organization.
The term refers to its name in English, according to the stages that make up the cycle: (Plan), (Execute), (Check) and (Act).
This word proposes a chain of consecutive strategies: you plan, execute, evaluate, adapt, plan again and the cycle restarts.
Returning to the GUT Matrix, it is integrated into that first stage of the cycle, since it fully serves to answer some key questions in a rational way.
Collaborates in the process of planning solutions to company problems.
Through the aforementioned methodology, it is possible to obtain answers related to the procedures that should initiate such a process.
But not only that.
The GUT Matrix shows where to start when a certain situation arises, planning actions that must be carried out in a certain period of time.
It can be said, without fear of being wrong, that we are talking about an indispensable tool for any company, no matter its size.
GUT Matrix Concepts
Now, the GUT Matrix no longer sounds strange to you.
But knowing what it is about and what it is going to do for your business is not enough.
It is necessary to delve a little deeper into the concept of the methodology and understand what each of its three elements means in the application process, in a concrete reality.
Severity, urgency, tendency…
Finally, what do these terms refer to in practice?
Keep in mind that the whole process becomes incredibly simple when you know the attributes used to classify your problems.
Do you want to prove it?
We all know that a small problem is liable to grow, and if left unchecked, it can even cause the failure of your company.
For this reason, the first word represents the impact that your business will suffer, if it is not solved.
Basically, it is time to analyze its real size and the potential it has to generate negative effects on the company.
Effects that can be devastating, or perhaps negligible.
To measure it, you must attribute a score to severity, on a scale of 1 to 5.
Follow the scheme that we present:
- Without seriousness: slight damages, which can be considered secondary.
- Little serious: minimal damage.
- Severe: regular damage.
- Very serious: the problem can cause great damage to the company.
- Extremely serious: you have to prioritize it. Otherwise, the damages acquire potential until they become irreversible.
Once the seriousness of the matter is understood, we go to the urgency.
As its name indicates, the second term assesses how urgent that problem is in relation to the progression of priorities, so that greater damages are avoided.
On a timescale, you define what action is necessary to find a solution.
Is it something that needs to be resolved urgently? Or that you can still wait for the right moment to address it…
Again, the urgency score can be measured from 1 to 5, taking into account the following classification:
- You can expect r: no rush to solve the problem.
- Little urgent: these are those problems that, despite being more urgent than the previous ones, can also wait a little longer.
- Urgent: they need a solution as soon as possible.
- Very urgent: the earlier the better. A week maybe? Less?
- Immediately: if you classified a problem with this note, you need to act immediately, as the situation can escalate and lead you to lose control over it.
Remember that the time factor is crucial for the success of this methodology.
Therefore, pay close attention to correctly classify each problem or task evaluated in the company.
Last but not least, you need to assess the trend.
In other words, we are talking about the probability that that problem will intensify over time, if measures are not taken to aim towards its resolution.
So, in the absence of an action, that problem for sure:
- It will not change: it means that nothing is going to happen, and the problem may even disappear.
- It will get worse in the long run: the proportion of the problem tends to slowly increase.
- It will get worse in the medium term: the problem may remain and nothing is done about it.
- Will get worse in the short term: The problem is likely to get significantly worse in a short period of time.
- It will get worse quickly: it is imperative to act now, before it is too late.
How to assemble the GUT Matrix
Since you already know the integral parts of the technique, let’s go to the next step.
This phase is dedicated to teaching you how to set up a GUT Matrix in your company from scratch.
Not sure how to start?
It is very simple!
A good way to calculate the GUT is to create a useful old familiar template.
To do this, you will essentially need six columns:
- Problem: identification of the problem or task to be analyzed (it can be more than one).
- Severity – to classify the severity of the problem.
- Urgency: for the classification of urgency on the need to solve the problem.
- Trend: to assess what can happen.
- Note: obtained as a result of the multiplication of G x U x T.
- Sequence of activities: identify which problem must be solved first and how to proceed, that is, define the sequence of actions.
With the GUT Matrix ready, you will have a complete vision of the treatment of the problem.
But in addition to being clear about the instrument, there are some steps that must be followed to ensure that the method is applied successfully and meets the expectations of your team.
Let’s get to know them.
1. List of problems
First of all, it is necessary to list all the problems of your business, taking as a starting point the three main elements.
As the GUT Matrix is intended to prioritize the demands in the company, it is useless to set one up, if you do not analyze everything that should be included.
Can I give you some advice?
An excellent resource to identify internal problems in your company is to gather your team and talk with your collaborators in a kind of brainstorming.
In the same way, applying a customer satisfaction survey can be effective to discover aspects to improve in your products or services, or in the delivery system to your audience.
The important thing is to list all the challenges, leaving nothing out.
Next, make a clear and specific description of what each of them represents.
This will prevent misinterpretations and keep the team focused on solving the problem.
2. Scoring problems
With the list drawn up, finalized, and reviewed, now is the time to give the problems a score.
Do it according to the criteria of severity, urgency, and trend.
According to what has been said, the classification attends to an increasing scale, in which the lowest note (1) corresponds to milder problems and the highest note (5) means an alert of imminent danger for that specific situation.
For example, you analyzed a certain problem and found that it is much more serious and must be solved as quickly as possible. If not, it can get worse and risk your business.
Then the score would be something like: G (4), U (5), and T (5).
After giving a numerical rating to each of your problems, you have to multiply the factors and obtain a grade that will be defined as the priority level of that problem.
In the example cited, the result of that calculation would be 100.
Based on that, it remains to compare with the other problems and establish which one should be solved first.
3. Classification of problems
Finally, having identified your problems and multiplied the factors together in order to discover the individual GUT value, you are ready for the next step.
You must make a ranking of your problems, which will allow you to design an action plan and face the challenges.
Logically, those problems that have a higher grade should be prioritized.
So, go into deep analysis, tackle it, and resolve everything as quickly and efficiently as possible.
It never hurts to remember that the evaluation must be individual, since each problem has its peculiarities.
GUT Matrix example: practical application
I think it was clear to you that there is no secret to assembling a GUT Matrix.
Although, a good example is always useful to consolidate everything you learned. Right?
To help you on that journey, I am going to show you a practical case of how to apply the technique, following the path that we have just mentioned.
¿ Prepared (a)?
I am going to assume that your company is an e-commerce of sporting goods.
Consequently, you became aware of the following problems in the business, thanks to the support of your survey:
- Delay in the delivery of the goods;
- Delay in supplier delivery;
- Low buyback rate among customers;
- Low rate of conversion of landing pages ;
- Lack of storage control;
- Lack of digital marketing planning.
There are six situations that must be faced, depending on the severity, urgency and behavior trend.
Once this analysis has been carried out under the proposal of the GUT Matrix, it is enough to multiply the factors and obtain the marks.
I recommend that these will be used to classify the priority index of your problems.
For this example, the GUT Matrix would look something like this:
|Delay in the delivery of the goods||5||5||5||125||1st|
|Delay in supplier delivery||5||4||4||80||4th|
|Low buyback rate among customers||3||3||4||36||4th|
|Low landing page conversion rate||3||4||2||24||5th|
|Lack of storage control||4||5||5||100||2nd|
|Lack of digital marketing planning||5||4||3||60||3rd|
With the GUT Matrix ready and the problems classified, it will be easier to define an understandable picture of what is happening.
From there, you can prioritize the problems that need to be solved immediately and draw up action plans to solve them, or at least reduce them.
With the previous example, I am not saying that you will only deal with a problem, after having corrected another that was a priority.
According to your ability to meet the demands, it is convenient that you look for simultaneous solutions.
Resolving delivery failures, for example, doesn’t hurt landing page ratings and vice versa.
Reasons to use the GUT Matrix
With the simple fact of imagining the application of the GUT Matrix to the reality of your company, the various benefits that this technique offers you in the process of making important decisions are already visible.
It is relevant here to point out other reasons for using the tool and optimizing the management of the organization.
First of all, one of the great advantages of the method is that in addition to being simple and easy to apply, it can be implemented by any company, small or large.
Second, the technique enables you to strategically focus on your efforts and resources.
As this one proposes, you can prioritize the problems that tend to cause the most damage to your company.
It is much more effective than wasting time and investing in trivial situations that represent as much risk as you imagined before the analysis.
And to further help your company, the method can be applied alone or in conjunction with other tools.
Among them are the PDCA cycle, as I already mentioned, and Pareto Analysis or the Ishikawa Diagram.
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The GUT Matrix enables the manager to have a perspective of what is happening, of what needs to be done first, of how and when to execute actions to face the challenges in your company.
But that of course depends on the correct analysis of the specificities of each problem.
It is a decisive stage to classify in a convenient way, always focusing on planning and executing actions that lead to solve first, what is evaluated as more serious.
As I told you, there is no secret for you to put the GUT Matrix into practice.
That makes it a very special and essential tool for developing good management.
See you next time. Don’t forget to tell me about your experience with the GUT Matrix here in the comments.