Weighted Decision Matrix: Solutions and Examples

Mike Grossman
Professional Engineer
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Minute Read
April 25, 2024
Weighted Decision Matrix: Solutions and Examples

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Making good decisions fast is a critical skillset and a great tool to help is a Decision Matrix, especially a Weighted Decision Matrix. This tool has many names, such as a Pugh Matrix in Six Sigma speak or a Grid Analysis, but let's get straight to the point and show the value in an interactive example.

In the example below we're having trouble deciding "What Company to Join", and the Factors we deem important are:

  • can I Add Big Value to the company as a professional with a finely tuned skillset [weighted an importance level of 8 out of 10]
  • does the Pay & Equity meet my expectations, ownership is important to me [weighted an importance level of 9 out of 10]
  • can I Learn from and Grow with the team, [weighted an importance level of 6 out of 10]

Scroll down and you'll see how each company did.

Tip: move around the sliders so you can see how this works.

A decision matrix example

Steps to a wise decision

Decision Matrix Templates provide a quick and easy way to make decisions. It's particularly powerful where you have many good alternatives to choose from, and many different factors to take into account. This makes it a great technique to use in almost any important decision where there isn't a clear winner.

Step 1: Pick 2 or 3 Important Factors for Your Decision

It's important to realize we all believe our dilemmas, and our lives, are complex. Often much more complex than they need to be, and so it's wise to break it down to a maximum of 3 factors.

List these at the top row of the template under the titles Factors and on the first column of the template you can label your Choices.

Step 2: Give Each Factor a Weighting (Importance)

10 means the Factor is very important to you. 5 is about the lowest you want to see here as if you deem a Factor of 0 importance, then it shouldn't be on the list. Don't worry about this too much, move on, as we'll be able to play around with the weightings later.

Step 3: Give Each Choice a Factor Score

10 is a great score, 5 is medium, and 0 is a bad score. Move quickly and don't spend a lot of time deliberating this section. It's asked often, but it's fine to have two factors with the same weighting or level of importance.

Step 4: Scroll Down for the Winner

Scroll down to see the winning score out of a possible 300. The calculator multiplies each score by the respective weighting and adds each up for an overall score. In our case Jamie Smith is a clear winner for a second date.

The real power is sliding around the Factor Weightings to see how the outcome is affected. You'll be surprised how often a winner stands above the rest when put through this sort of a sensitivity analysis.

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