Let’s say that you have to make a decision between a number of options where you have to take into account multiple factors or considerations.
It can be very useful to write these down so you can see them in front of you, but it can also be really useful to weigh the different factors quantitatively by ‘scoring’ them and giving each factor its own ‘weight’ according to it’s importance. This is exactly what Idea Sandbox’s ‘Decision Making Tool’, a free Excel template, is designed to do.
Decision Making Tool is fairly simple to use, and will allow you to work with up to 5 different choices and up to 5 different related factors (which it referrers to as ‘qualities of the decision’). You don’t actually have to use all 5 slots for options or qualities; leave them blank if you don’t need them.
Decision Making Tool doesn’t support analyzing MORE than 5 options, and although it can be easily extended with minimal Excel knowledge, it is better to simply keep things simple, and stick to 5 factors as a maximum.
Otherwise, a very simple tool. Decide on your factors, the weights, and the values, and see how much each one of your options scores.
Note: if it seems like quantifying a decision in this way is too simplistic, remember this: the value of this process lies in the exercise, and not so much how much each of the options gets.
Download the Decision Making Tool Excel template from Idea Sandbox’s ‘brainstorming tools’ page (23K), top of the page.