Should I subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime? Or should I eat chicken or veggies? Should I watch Football on ESPN or WWE on Ten Sports? Life is all about making decisions. We take most of our decisions immediately but in some cases, we take time and choose which option we have to go based on our gut feelings, which is ok. But you cannot make business decisions based on your gut feelings. As one wrong decision can finish your business in just one moment. So, That’s why good managers use some mathematical and statistical approaches to make decisions. They use several rules like Pareto Analysis, Decision Matrix, etc.
WHAT’S IN IT
What is Decision Matrix?
Suppose you want to buy a car and you have 3 options. So, Now, you have to choose only one of them based on some criteria like cost, fuel economy, service, reliability. It can be tempting to opt for the lowest cost car. But, what if that car is not reliable at all? Would you still choose that one? So all the factors must be considered to make the best decision. This is complex.
How can I solve this puzzle? The answer is the Decision Matrix. It’s a useful tool, where there are several options to be considered, but no obvious choice. It was invented by Stuart Plugh, is also known as Grid Analysis, Pugh Matrix Analysis, and Utility Theory.
When to use?
Decisions matrices can be used to make complicated choices in no time. Let me mention some uses of it.
- Whenever we have to choose the best option among multiple options.
- Whenever we have to decide based on multiple criteria.
There are two kinds of matrices, Simple Decision Matrix and Weighted Decision Matrix.
Simple Decision Matrix
This is a sample chart of it. On the left column, we put the criteria based on which we are going to judge the options. On the top row from left to right, we put the options.
As you see, there are 5 criteria. Let’s imagine a scale for rating the cars based on each criterion. Car A costs the least, So give its cost a rating of 5. But it has a below-average Practicality and Fuel Economy, So rate the Practicality and Fuel Economy with 2 for Car A. The performance of Car A is better than average, but not as good as that of Car C, so let’s rate the performance with 4. This car is the least reliable, So the reliability of Car A gets 1.
Similarly, rate the Car B and Car C based on these criteria. Now, simply calculate the total of all the ratings for each car. Car A gets 14, Car B gets 14, Car C gets 18.
Though Car A is the cheapest in terms of cost, after this analysis we know that we have to go with Car C.
But all the criteria may not have the same importance. So here comes the Weighted Decision Matrix.
Weighted Decision Matrix
This is a Weighted Matrix chart. Just like in Simple one, you have to put Criteria on the left column. Then keep the second column blank, and then from the third column to the top row put the options. Under every option create two columns, Score and Total.
Give every criterion a number rating according to its priority to you. Suppose Criteria 1 has the least priority for you and Criteria 5 gets the greatest priority, then give Criteria 1 a score of 1 and Criteria 5 a score of 5. Put these scores on the blank column after the criteria column. Name this column as Weighting.
Just as we have learned before give every option ratings based on different criteria on the score columns under every option. Multiply the scores with the corresponding weightings and put those values under the “total” column under every option.
Now, simply add all the values in the “total” column under every option. After following these steps you can choose the winner.
Benefits of Decision Matrix
There are several benefits of this Matrix and according to many management executives, this is the best tool for taking a complicated decision.
There are also other tools of Decision making, like the Decision Tree or the Pareto Analysis. But Decision Matrix Is the easiest one, Anyone can use it and can choose the best option.
Another advantage of this Matrix is purely based on Mathematics. So there is no scope for gut feelings here, which reduces the chance of human error.
Also you can read our blog on How Good Is Your Decision Making