Preference matrix

The preference matrix is a widely used project management tool that can be used to prioritize issues or criteria. It is also used in numerous other areas, such as controlling.

Definition / explanation

The preference matrix is a simple and effective tool that is used in project management. It is based on the principle of the so-called pairwise comparison.

Each individual criterion is compared with one another and then the more important of the criteria is noted. The aim of the pairwise comparison is the answer to the question "What is more important?".

In this way it is possible to get a structured ranking. The criterion that has the most mentions in the end can then be confirmed as the most important criterion.

Goals of the preference matrix

The aim of the preference matrix is to get an order of the importance of different criteria. To do this, the various criteria are compared with one another and the most important criterion is noted. The remaining criteria are then compared further.

The criterion with the most mentions is ultimately the most important. The other criteria are sorted hierarchically according to their importance.

Steps in creating

The following data is required to create a reliable preference matrix:

  • Kriterien sammeln (z.B. durch brainstorming)
  • create the matrix
  • pairwise comparison of all criteria
  • Evaluation of the criteria and their stated frequency
  • Create a ranking with priorities based on the preference matrix

If you follow these steps, you will quickly come to a reliable result.


  • The preference matrix is a tool from project management
  • is used to find the priorities or the most important criteria
  • pairwise comparison leads to the naming of the more important criterion
  • then a comparison is made against other criteria
  • The criterion with the most mentions is the most important criterion
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