The Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix

Dwight D. Eisenhower was considered to be a superb task master and time manager during his illustrious career. This included tenures as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, the first Supreme Commander of NATO, and finally President of the United States.

His success in this field was often attributed to the practice of what is now known as the Eisenhower Matrix, a very simple mental model designed to sharpen your ability to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.

To quote Eisenhower,

“The most urgent decisions are rarely the most important ones”.

Supreme decision making and task management strategy is therefore predicated on learning to distinguish between importance and urgency balanced between short and long term goals.

The Eisenhower Matrix is expressed as the following diagram.

The Project Management Triangle

The Project Management Triangle

In marketing and advertising, a mental model that gets referenced quite regularly is what's called the Project Management Triangle, or the "Iron Triangle". This is also one of the most polarising concepts I have seen, so remember to use it wisely.

The Project Management Triangle is essentially a positive trilemma, where there are three favourable options, but only two can be achieved at the expense of the other.

Traditionally, this was applied to the variables of Time, Cost and Scope. More recently however, scope is often interchanged with a sub variable; there is a tendency to utilise Quality, Product, Goals or Deliverables (with Quality utilised most often).