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!

It involves:

  1. A list of items (that need to be prioritised)
  2. 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.


Step 4

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.

1 Comment

  1. Mckenzie Eckard

    I think this is a real great article post. Really Great.

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