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The decision matrix is a simple and effective tool to help us make the right decisions.

Introduction

This tool provides a structured method for evaluating a situation and identifying the action plan. The interest lies in the fact that the consensus of the group can be obtained more easily through factual and visual elements.

Method

Building the decision matrix requires a process and a few rules to avoid questioning the findings at ex.

1. To prepare the work, identify the different evaluation criteria: technical constraint, emergency level, performance, cost…

2. To have the criteria accepted by the Working Party, the managers in connection with the project, as well as the final client of the project. Add or remove criteria if necessary.

3. Set the different criteria in columns.

4. If necessary, identify a weighting for each of the criteria. For example, we can allocate 20 points between all the criteria. In the same way, this must be done in a group and get the consensus of all and the management agreement.

5. Online, we introduce all the solutions, actions… for which we must make our choice. In practice, it is advisable to have 5 to 7 alternatives to be evaluated to allow a simple reading.

6. The group shall then evaluate each element in relation to the criteria to give it a value. If necessary, experts in the field can be used to facilitate the evaluation. Three methods can be used:

  • Method 1: A measuring scale is used for which the description is defined at each level. For example, 1, 3, 9 to say, 1 being light, less than 5kg, 3, medium between 5 and 10kg, 9 being more than 10kg. It is a method that is most often unreliable.
  • Method 2: A part-rank assessment is carried out. Each element is ranked by criteria. The best being for example 1, the less good 5. In the end, whoever gets the smallest score will be considered the best. Very effective method if we can not have a standard (see Method 3).
  • Method 3: Use the Pugh method. We set a standard level and we evaluate our solution to the standard. This is undoubtedly the best method from the moment we can have a point of comparison.

 

7. Once the evaluation is done, a proofreading is done by comparing our notes of each solution with the notes of the other solutions. This to bring consistency.

8. Finally, the total is carried out in the last column, incorporating the weighting if there is one.

9. To simplify the reading, the solutions are ranked in ascending order of totals obtained.

Example

Below, we present a decision matrix with 4 alternatives and 4 evaluation criteria. We have no weighting and the evaluation method is a scale from 1 to 3.

Criterion 1

Criterion 2

Criterion 3

Criterion 4

Total

Solution 1

3

2

1

2

8

Solution 2

2

2

3

3

10

Solution 3

3

2

3

1

9

Solution 4

1

2

2

1

4

Another example using weighting.

Weighting

Alternative 1

Alternative 2

Alternative 3

Alternative 4

Criterion 1

7.5

9

9

3

Criterion 2

6.2

3

9

1

3

Criterion 3

9.5

1

3

9

9

Criterion 4

8.2

1

1

Result

95.6

92.5

167.4

126.6

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