Workshop Exercises: Decide

$100 Test

Prioritize a list deciding where to spend $100

Illustration of $100 Test
Run a $100 Test play

Also called: Divide the Dollar, $10 test

Alternative plays: Priority Mapping, Trade-off Sliders

Follow-up plays: Priority Mapping

Timing: Planning

Prep time
15 minutes

Run time
60-90 minutes

Group size

Why: Cut through indecision by simulating scarcity, helping resolvee dilemmas over priority and importance

When: When you need group concensus on compromises needed to prioritize a list of items

This workshop exercise is part of the Workshop Patterns printed card deck.

A collection of workshop exercises that will help you ditch dull meetings and facilitate with confidence. It will help you master the design process and have more productive time with your team. The card deck will be ready for purchase in the end of 2023 and is now undergoing rigorous testing.

Reserve your deck!

Instructions for running this play

  1. Setup. Create three columns on a large surface: Items, Price, Why?
  2. Populate the list. In the first column, list the items to be prioritized.
  3. Introduce the exercise. Explain the objective of the exercise to the participants: they have a shared imaginary $100 to ‘spend’ on the items. Each dollar spent signifies the importance of an item.
  4. Allocate the funds. Let participants agree as a group on how to distribute the money across the items through discussion. Encourage them to write a brief explanation for the amount each item receives.
    • Be prepared to guide the conversation if the group starts discussing the actual cost or effort of the items. This isn’t the primary focus and could derail the exercise. If necessary, suggest these points for a separate discussion or another ‘$100 Test’.
  5. Reasoning. Once the matrix is filled out, invite the group to explain their decisions. Why did certain items get more money? What was the thought process?
  6. Next steps. Use the completed matrix as a reference for future decisions, indicating which items hold higher priority and should be focused on first.

Tips to perfect this play

Master and adapt the play to fit your context and needs.


Can be used in any context where creating a sense of scarcity can help a group focus and decide what's most important


It's not about the exact allocation of dollars but the reasoning behind it


Encourage participants to be open to changing their minds as perspectives tend to shift during the course of discussions, leading to more refined priorities.


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