PICK Chart – A Decision Making Tool

I recently decided to sell my rental property prior to a 6-month set of orders with the Air Force that would take me from Minnesota to Texas.  I decided to get out of the long-distance land lording business while the market seemed good. I gave myself a month to prep it for sale (so much needed after 7 years of renting it out).  Well, in true military fashion, the Air Force moved my start date up by 2 weeks and gave me 10 days’ notice (actually they didn’t tell me, I just happened to find out, but that’s a story for another day). 

Suddenly I was left with a list of things that I wanted to do before listing the house but only enough time to do a few of them.  So before digging into my toolbox of hammers and screw drivers, I dug into my decision-making toolbox and pulled out my trusty PICK chart.   

The PICK chart (Possible, Implement, Consider, Kill) is a tool I have used for years to help leaders decide what efforts of the infinite possibilities they should focus on.  It’s a simple, yet powerful tool to compare efforts against each other in terms of Effort vs. Impact.  It is usually done with post it notes placed on a 4-quadrant graph with the Y access being Impact (benefit) and the X access being the Effort (cost).  It is a subjective exercise and can be done quickly.  Each effort should fall into one of the 4 quadrants where the title of the quadrant will describe what to do with the effort. 

I’ve since created an EXCEL VERSION which allows for a bit more objectivity.  In this version you can assign discreet values to the impact and effort or you can leave them subjective on a 1 to 10 scale.  Then you can assign values to the projects and they will automatically populate on the chart.  Once you have all of your projects mapped you would draw an imaginary line (or actual if on paper) from the upper left corner to the lower right.  Then you would draw a perpendicular line from each “post it” to the new diagonal line.  You would work the projects as they intersect with the diagonal line from left to right.  This is a general guideline and you’ll subjectively have to add any other factors. 

I’ve created an example for the house sale prep situation on a separate tab for your reference. 

What could/would you use this tool for? 

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