Money Spend Exercise: Group Prioritization Tool
Why would you use the money spend exercise?
This is a fun and easy exercise that you can run with a group of people to turn a random list of ideas into a prioritised list of ideas. Priorities help us to focus our action, which means that we implement a more targeted approach. This increases our productivity and ultimately our profitability.
What is the technique?
The exercise is called the “Money Spend”. I use this all the time when I am facilitating requirements gathering or planning workshops. The Money Spend exercise works because it enables people to prioritise things using a mental model that they are used to…spending money!
- A list of items (that need to be prioritised)
- A currency of some kind (monopoly money, stars, check marks, etc.)
How you do it
Brainstorm a list of requirements or tasks with a group of people. Write them down on butcher’s paper.
Give everyone a currency to “spend”. I prefer monopoly money because it has different denominations which make participants think harder about how they will spend their money. Give everyone a total of $100 (made of 1x $50 note, 1x $20 note and 3x $10 notes).
Let participants spend their money on the items listed on the butcher’s paper.
Count up the total money spent against each item and discuss the results as a group. The results look great in a report too (see a sample to the right).
It is that easy!
Be sure to give the Money Spend exercise a try the next time you need to get priorities and focused action from a group or team.