Criteria Matrix


To determine the feasibility and effectiveness of solutions.


  1. Brainstorm a list of criteria that the team could apply to each possible solution. Reduce the list through negative voting or N/3 voting.
  2. Categorize each criterion as a must or want.

    Requirements the solution must meet in order to be considered feasible. Musts should be measurable. A must will determine whether or not a solution is selected for implementation. If a possible solution does not meet all must criteria, it will not be considered further.

    Criteria the solution should meet in order to be the best choice. Wants can be measurable or subjective. Wants determine the priority of the solutions. The more want statements that are met by the solution, the better the solution.

    There is no ideal number of criteria, but a large number of criteria will take more time to analyze.

  3. Construct a criteria matrix with the criteria (musts and wants) on the left side and the potential solutions along the top.
  4. Analyze and discuss each solution individually. Decide whether the solution meets each criterion. Use a plus (+) for meets the criterion and a minus (-) for does not meet the criterion. The team may also want to use a question mark (?) for need more information and a zero (0) for doesn't apply.
  5. Eliminate any solution with a minus (-) anywhere in the must criteria. Take the solutions left over and prioritize them by the number of pluses (+) each has in the want criteria. The team now has a prioritized list of key solutions to further develop.
    Note: Prior to eliminating a solution perceived as excellent but which falls outside the teams' boundaries as outlined by the sponsor, check with the sponsor to see if the boundaries can be changed.
"Must" CriteriaA0+++?
"Want" Criteriae+0-++
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