We’ve all been there, contemplating a tough decision be it to switch a new career role, to start a new business or even diving into the unknown. Also, if we are unhappy in our current situation, uncertainty, fear and change are the biggest anchors weighing us down.
So, how do we go about making tough decisions? Well, with the help of the decision matrix. A tool that I have found useful in making crucial decisions and is straightforward to create and utilise one.
The decision matrix consists of your choices and smaller components which forms your evaluation criteria. Weights are being added into each category of your evaluation criteria depending on its importance. Afterwhich, from a scale of zero to five, you would have to decide on the significance of each category. Once done, you would sum up the total score within that particular choice, doing so for all of your options.
For example, you could create a decision matrix that would visualise the choice between three job offers. Let’s assume that the most critical factors affecting my options are: Salary, Commute and Learning Opportunities. And the weights I’ve decided to give them are five, three and two respectively as seen in the table below. You can choose your weights as long as they add up to one.
|New Job 1|
|New Job 2|
|New Job 3|
Once done, you can continue assigning scores from zero to five depending on the importance of each category. After filling up the scores, you should end up with something like this:
|New Job 1||5||3||5|
|New Job 2||4||5||4|
|New Job 3||2||3||3|
Almost done! The last step to the decision matrix is, to sum up, the entire score horizontally across your choices. For example, the total score for New Job 1 would be equivalent to the sum of its rating and weights.
For example, New Job 1 score = (5*5)+(3*3)+(2*5) = 44
Continue doing the same for all of your remaining choices, and you should end up with scores for each choice based on factors which are crucial to you.
|New Job 1||5||3||5||44|
|New Job 2||4||5||1||37|
|New Job 3||2||3||3||25|
Once completed, you should be able to narrow your choices based on the score obtained. In this case, based on the factors deemed relevant to me, it seems like New Job 1 is the best choice.
Give the decision matrix a go the next time when you need to make a clear and concise decision between multiple choices. The decision matrix can be applied to practically all different kinds of scenarios. Also, by using the decision matrix, you would be able to spare your mental energy for more critical tasks and eliminates the unavoidable back-and-forth involved during decision-making.