Who should I date? Maybe you’re one of the beautiful people who gets to pretty much decide who they should date or maybe you’re not! Whoever you are, we all get to enjoy/hate dating at one time or another. Sometimes it can be fun fantasizing about who to date with mates and this is where our dating weighted decision matrix comes in.
Line up the contenders be they classmates, people at work or down the pub or even celebrities and get marking them! Who is the hottest? Who’s got the best personality? Do they actually take an interest in you, what you like, have interesting hobbies and ways of going about things? Do they like you already because let’s face it that’s going to help with the chemistry and whether or not it lasts your date should be a good one with a few laughs at the very least. Maybe you’re sensitive like us? That’s why we decided to mark potential dates on their kindness but not everyone needs that so we also added a, “Do they have a car/are they rich” type of question! If you’re shallow that might be the one for you!
Have a bit of fun using a weighted decision matrix template and if you do go out with someone from your list, enjoy it and make sure you tell someone where you’re going.
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Firstly, create or download our weighted decision matrix template on excel. Write down the decision you need to make in the form of a question which will have several possible answers. It could be something simple or more fundamental, it really doesn’t matter, the decision matrix will cope with either scenario. We like to use it for big family decisions such as where to go on holiday or what sort of car should we get next. You can all look at the screen, decide on the factors involved and then debate the scores and when you do that all angles are covered.
How to use a Weighted Decision Matrix?
1. Choose the question to answer, double click on the “Type your question here” cell and type it in.
2. Next you need to decide on the factors involved in the decision you are making. When considering the question think Who, When, Why, What and How to prompt you to think of everything you need to. Look at our example below to get you started.
3. Now you need to weight the factors you settled on in the second step. It’s easiest to do this by giving the most important factor a value of 5 and the least important a value of 1. It’s important to do this but if you really can’t decide on the order it is okay to give two factors a weighting that is the same. We don’t recommend it as you are less likely to get a clear result but hey, that’s up to you. In the same way, you could give the most important factor an even higher value if it is that important. Every factor involved needs to be weighted to reflect its relative importance.
4. List all of your possible options on the options row next, any order you like. This is probably a shortlist of options you are already decided on. Discard anything completely unrealistic to save yourself some time. Do you really want to fly all the way to Australia with three children under six?
5. The final step is to score all of your options out of 5 or 10 or even a hundred against all of the different factors. So option ‘A’ may score a 5 for the first factor but only a 1 for the second but both could end up with the same weighted score depending on how you set up the weightings in step 3. Confused? Just have a go and it will all become clear.
If you’re using one of our templates then the highest score will be highlighted to make it obvious what the winning decision is.
If you prefer, we also have a video guide to how to use a weighted decision matrix. You may want to read our ultimate guide to the weighted decision matrix first. If you get really stuck you can tweet us or ask a question on Facebook as well. Have fun!
A Weighted Decision Matrix is a decision making tool used when there are several options to choose between. A scoring system is employed in which the factors involved in the decision are weighted so that their importance to one another is relative. Each option is then given a score against each factor and a total score is reached that will indicate what decision should be taken. For example, it can be used in business to decide between different software solutions or at home to help a family decide where to go on holiday.
In the second example, different holiday destinations are the options to be considered. Factors to score the destinations include cost and things to do. You can see this outlined in the pictured example where cost has been heavily weighted and things to do, not so much.
Using a tool such as this matrix gives confidence in a thought through, considered approach to decision making. It can also be used to easily illustrate your thinking process to others when a decision needs to be justified. It is also easy to adjust a matrix should factors or options change to keep everything up to date.
The unique aspect of a decision matrix that makes it so useful is the weighting that has to be applied to the factors. This is not easy and requires a lot of thought and negotiation if completed with others depending on how difficult or important the decision is. Cost, for example would have a low weighting if you happen to be a millionaire, but would be much more heavily weighted if you’re not lucky enough to be rich.
In theory, you could use the decision matrix to score as many different options as you like. That would be time consuming and it is best used to make the final decision from a short list of options. With many options, you may find that you don’t spend an equal amount of time scoring each option and your predetermined prejudices are more likely to come into play.
Factors can also become a very long list and time must be spent choosing differentiated one’s which avoid overlapping. It’s best to weight the factors before beginning the scoring so as to overcome the natural bias we all have to spend less time on the things we ‘know’ are less important. In practice, this bias will exist and it is impossible to ignore it completely. Being aware of it is helpful however.
A weighted decision matrix works best when every factor carries a different weighting. Try to force yourself to give one factor slightly more or less weight even if you find it really hard to differentiate between them. After all, if every factor is equally important, then there is no need to weight them at all.