How to use a Weighted Decision Matrix?

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.

Example of a Weighted Decision Matrix

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!

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