What is and how to set up a GUT Matrix (Gravity, Urgency and Tendency)

Excel Spreadsheets

What are we going to see in this article?

Read also:
All about Quality Management

Definition of GUT Matrix

What is it: A GUT Matrix it's a problem-solving prioritization helping tool. The matrix is used to classify each problem that you think is pertinent to your company from the gravity (of the problem), urgency (of solving it) and tendency (of it to worsen quickly or slowly) point of view.

Why do it and what to use: With a GUT Matrix you can have assistance in strategy, strategic planning or even applying along with tools like SWOT analysis , Pareto Diagram, Ishikawa diagram ou PDCA Cycle . We indicate the use of a Problem-Prioritization Worksheet (GUT Matrix) , because doing so you can have your results automated.

Ready Sheet: Matrix GUT

gut array 8

Essential Concepts of the GUT Matrix

There is not much mystery when it comes to the GUT matrix. The essential concepts of this management tool go through the understanding of 3 problem classification attributes. Let's see each one of them:

Ready Sheet: Matrix GUT


It is analyzed by the consideration of the intensity or impact that the problem can cause if it is not solved. Such damages can be assessed quantitatively or qualitatively. A serious problem can lead to bankruptcy of your company, loss of important customers or even damage the public image of the organization. The severity score varies from 1 to 5 by the following criteria:

  1. not severe
  2. little severe
  3. severe
  4. very much severe
  5. extremely severe


It is analyzed by the pressure of time that exists to resolve a given situation. It basically takes into account the time frame to solve a given problem. It can be considered as urgent problems deadlines defined by law or the response time for customers. The urgency score ranges from 1 to 5 according to the following criteria:

  1. it can wait
  2. not very urgent
  3. urgent, it deserves attention in the short term.
  4. very urgent
  5. needs immediate action


It is analyzed by the pattern or trend of the situation evolution. You can analyze problems, considering the development that it will have in the absence of an effective action to solve it. It represents the growth potential of the problem, the probability of the problem become larger over time.

  1. will not change
  2. will worsen in the long term
  3. will worsen in the medium term
  4. will worsen in the short term
  5. will worsen quickly

Spend Less Time in Meetings with the GUT Matrix

How to assemble the GUT Matrix

Now that we understand the concept of the classification attributes of the GUT matrix, we can see the step by step to assemble yours. This is an exercise in understanding what your main problems are and, therefore, we need to establish a step by step so that this process is organized and gives you the results you expect:

Step 1 - List your problems

Step 2 - Rate your problems for each of the 3 variables (Severity, Urgency and Tendency)

Step 3 - Rank your main problems (multiplying the 3 notes)

Step 4 - Analyze where your weaknesses are (ranking major issues)

Step 5 - Develop action plans with deadlines and responsible to solve or reduce problems

Ready Sheet: Matrix GUT

Example of Practical Application of a GUT Matrix

Let's see a practical example of using the GUT Matrix by following our step-by-step instructions. Assuming our company produces computer pieces:

Step 1 - Some of the problems we face are the difficulty of delivering orders to our customers. In addition, because we are facing a difficult financial situation, we do not pay our suppliers. Regarding the internal practices, were identified problems with the system update, usage of the electronic point and a weak production process. And last but not least, some equipments are scrapped due to lack of mantainance and the purchase of material for the stock is not always done correctly.

Now that we have given the problem situation, simply list each of the items in a spreadsheet, according to the example below of our problem prioritization worksheet (GUT Matrix) 3.0:

gut array 4

Step 2 - With the problems listed, classify them from 1 to 5 to each one of their attributes. In our example, the improvement of the production process problem received 5 note for the 3 items. Therefore, it has been considered an extremely serious problem, which needs to be resolved immediately and has a high tendency to worsen.

Ready Sheet: Matrix GUT

Step 3 - Because he got 5 for each one of the problems, by multiplying 5 x 5 x 5, his score is 125

Step 4 - Making the same process for all of the problems and sorting them in descending order, we have a ranking of the worst problems that the company faces, as you can see in the image below:

gut array 5

Step 5 - Now that you know what is essential you can think of action plans with deadlines and responsible. Thus, we could define that for problem 1 we would organize 3 action plans:

  1. Review process mapping and optimize use of current machines - Deadline: 7 days - Responsible: Maria (Process Area)
  2. Training for machines and equipment usage - Deadline: 30 days - Person in charge: Joana (Area of Human Resources)
  3. Buy new machines and equipment - Deadline: 90 days - Manager: Jonas (Purchasing Area)

In this way we can identify the problems, classify them and set priorities with tangible actions to solve.

Ready Sheet: Matrix GUT

10 Reasons to Use GUT Matrix

  1. The GUT matrix improves your strategic decision-making
  2. It makes it easier to allocate resources to the most important issues that can cause major damage to your business.
  3. Support tool for strategic planning
  4. Simple implementation
  5. Can be used by any company or industry
  6. Matrix format makes it easy to fill and display GUT attributes
  7. Allows a problem solving priorization in an assertive way
  8. Focus on the decrease of serious problems
  9. It can also be applied to your personal reality
  10. It is a tool that can be used together with other tools such as Pareto or Cause and Effect (Ishikawa)

If you are interested in this strategic tool you need to know our Problem-Prioritization Worksheet (GUT Matrix).

Ready Sheet: Matrix GUT

More Applications of GUT Matrix:

1. Define strategic plan priorities with the GUT Matrix
2. Spend less time in meetings with the GUT Matrix
3. Using the GUT Matrix to Improve Digital Marketing

Excel Spreadsheets


  1. Hi Francis, in the case of our spreadsheet, this is already done automatically in hidden ancillary calculations. So yes it is possible, just use a CONT.SE or similar

  2. Very good explanation, congratulations. I always suggest this spreadsheet in my consulting to give a north. Together with Paretto they form an effective double

  3. Very good matrix GUT. But I prefer not to stick to rules, but to concepts. I think it would be a waste of time to have to sort out any problems that arise in these three variables. But I agree that they should be classified. So I suggest doing the following in decision making:

    1 Make a list of the problems that arise (In companies, other employees can also voice their problems in a simple message, without needing long and unproductive meetings);

    2 Rate the problems in:
    1 ° URGENT

    Solve problems in that order!

    3 Then classify numerically the problems in each column (ex: in the URGENT column, sort from most urgent to least urgent, in the IMPORTANT column from the most important to the least important, and in the EXISTING column classify what should receive attention first).

    4 Make an action plan, similar to GUT Matrix. Ask yourself: what to do, how to do, when to do and who to do.

    5 Make constant feedback to measure the degree of problem resolution and to see if those involved are having difficulty. If so, it's time to set a meeting with everyone involved in that task to find out about the flaws in the process (perhaps what can not be resolved from a distance) and come up with solutions.

  4. I really liked this table. But I have a question. Can you quantify the values ​​of the 1 notes to the 5 of the array attributes?

  5. Very Light Show! Keep enlightening your students! I will definitely consume more products from your site. Thank you!

  6. Great post! I think it was the best description of what Matrix GUT is. THANK YOU staff of the LIGHT !!!


Please, write your comment
Please enter your name