Here’s a very simple Excel based decision tool which I’ve used in many different forms for both personal and business use over the years. In this basic format, this tool will enable you to list work through a decision process between two major choices.
The tool lets you provide two basic choices (cell C2 and cell E2), features of the overall decision (these are typically outcomes or impacts of your decision between the two choices), weights for each feature and a grade for each decision by feature.
The tool also provides a calculated score based on your grades and weights and a nice little chart showing which decision came out on top.
To use the tool follow these basic instructions:
1. Provide your two choices in cell C2 and cell E2. eg: Join Army, and Go to College
2. List the features of the decision as a whole in column A rows 3 through 16. You don’t need to complete a rows. You’ll want to focus on outcomes or impacts of your decision when listing these features. eg: Long term impact on life goals.
3. Weight each feature on a scale of 1-5 based on how much you value this feature in column B, rows 3 through 16.
4. Provide a grade for each decision as it pertains to the feature. For many decisions, this will be highly subjective… don’t give too much thought initially to your scores. Try to record your immediate reaction.
Note: Don’t put anything in the “Score” columns… these are computed fields.
That’s it – very simple as I said. This tool can be built upon in many ways. I wanted to keep it simple initially and provide a Simple Decision tool. If you have other tools you use to help you make decisions, please use the comments field and let me know.