# Weighted Decision Making Need to make a decision? You might use a weighted decision-making matrix in order to evaluate a variety of options before making a final decisions. Decision matrices provide a structure to compare options to enable for better decision making.

Let’s look at an example of weighted decision making. In this example, we are deciding which restaurant we should go to for dinner. To make our decision, we will use a scale of:

1 – 5 for each item, where 1 = least desirable and 5 = most desirable.

For example, if looking at cost, 1 = too costly and 5 = less costly. If looking at menu options, 1 = limited items on the menu and 5 = a variety of items to choose from.

1 – 10 for weighting, where 1 = less important and 10 = most important.

Weighting is how important a factor or criteria is to you. If least cost is most important, you would weight that criteria at a 10.

 OPTIONS Local Pizza Shop Local Diner Local Steak House Criteria Weight Cost 9 3 (3 x 9 =  27) 4 (4 x 9 = 36) 1 (1 x 9 =   9) Menu items 6 2 (2 x 6 =  12) 5 (5 x 6 = 30) 1 (1 x 6 =   6) Quiet and relaxing 5 2 (2 x 5 =  10) 2 (2 x 5 = 10) 5 (5 x 5 =  25) Good for kids 8 5 (5 x 8 =  40) 5 (5 x 8 = 40) 1 (1 x 8 =    8) Total Points 89 116 48

To get the weighted score, you multiply the number in each cell by the number in the weight column. This is shown by the numbers in the parentheses. Then you add each column.

In this example above, the local diner is a clear choice for dinner tonight as it seems to be the best choice given our weighted criteria.

Using weighted decision-making enables for evaluating a variety of options based on selected and agreed upon criteria. When you have a team involved in decision-making, often weighted decision-making reduces arguments and enables for buy-in and support, providing everyone can contribute to and agree on the criteria used to evaluate each option.