• September 4, 2021

How to create a decision matrix

When creating a decision matrix, Kurniawan said, it is important to understand the problem and its implications. Once you have identified these aspects, you can create your analysis with rows and columns.

Running a business poses many challenges that require you to make many important decisions. Making those decisions can be as simple as weighing the pros and cons. However, sometimes it requires a more thorough decision-making process, like a decision matrix.

Stuart Pugh, who was a professor and head of design at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, created the decision matrix method to help in selecting design alternatives. Since then, the tool has evolved into a general decision-making aid, especially in the business world. Also known as the Pugh method, grid analysis or the multi-attribute utility theory, a decision matrix reduces subjectivity to help you draw a sound conclusion.

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When you are faced with multiple choices and several variables, a decision matrix can clear up confusion and highlight considerations that may influence the outcome. This quantitative method can remove emotion as well as confusion to help you lead your business to success. Unlike a simple list of pros and cons, a decision matrix allows you to place a relative value on each factor and weigh them accordingly.

Amie Devero, managing partner of Amie Devero Coaching & Consulting, said that a decision matrix is a useful tool to help people find more viable options when they believe they are faced with a binary choice.

List your decision alternatives as rows and the relevant factors affecting the decisions – such as cost, ease and effectiveness – as the columns. Establish a rating scale to assess the value of each alternative/factor combination. Usually, values are assigned as follows: High cost equals 1 and low cost equals 5, or low importance equals 1 and high importance equals 5. The scale must be consistent throughout the matrix.

Multiply your original ratings by the weighted rankings to get a score, and then add up all the factors under each option. The option that scores the highest is the winning choice or the first item to address.

You can use a whiteboard or write your weighted decision matrix on a piece of paper, but several websites offer templates. Here are a few online matrix templates to get you started:

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