Decision Making Process Grid

Many names!

A decision making process grid is a matrix for comparing multiple options when there are also several criteria to consider.

It has many names, including Pugh matrix, solution matrix, decision making matrix, decision grid, problem selection grid, grid analysis, decision matrix analysis, and even the acronym MAUT, which stands for Multi-Attribute Utility Theory!

It is a rational model and is also classed as a visual decision tool.

When the complexity of the decision increases these decision making tools and techniques can prove useful. Especially as the number of options and criteria increase.

An example

Firstly, list the alternatives and the important factors that need to be considered.

A decision making process grid is drawn with the factors along one side and options on another. Each option is then scored from 0 to 3 against each factor.

Decision making process grid 1

The factors are given a numerical value based on the 'weight' of their relative importance. Here, image is considered much more important than comfort or space, for example. Image is weighted as 5, cost as 4 and so on.

The scores already entered are then multiplied by the degree of weighting.

Each option in the decision making process grid is then totalled and the highest 'wins'. The sports car in our example.

Decision making process grid 2

Now try an online decision making process grid for yourself!

Pros and cons

Decision making process grids come into their own when the decision is complex with many possible outcomes and several different criteria to take into consideration.

While it breaks things down into 'bite sized' chunks for easy manageability, it also gives a clear view of the overall situation.

The downside is that it is only as good as the information put into it. It is possible to easily 'skew' the results when a particular result is desired, i.e., when the decision is already made and the decision maker is simply seeking to justify his actions.

Following on from this, the other disadvantage is that it keeps the decision making in the cognitive-thinking-rational domain, which is not necessarily how you make your best decisions.

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