Make a decision already!


Paul Borawski is talking about finding quality in unusual places this month, and I’ve been thinking a lot about how long it takes my husband to make decisions sometimes.  The two have come together in a most advantageous way.

In full disclosure, my husband’s critical decision process is a valued asset to what he does and it’s what makes him such a superstar in many ways.  Each detail is evaluated and re-evaluated, researched and analyzed.  This is what sometimes, just sometimes, can be frustrating.

Last week, I broke out pen and paper and saw a grid analysis save precious time…

Problem (identification of want/need): Our son has outgrown his bicycle.  We asked (told) him to pick a physical activity and he chose off-road biking to do with his dad.  A camping trip is approaching and a new bike becomes an immediate concern. 

Factors – Availability, Components (Quality), Aesthetics, Price & Dimensions

Options – Trek 3 Series 3500 or Giant Revel 1

**Note that the two options were decided based on previous knowledge and availability at the two local stores specializing in bicycles.

Grid Analysis without weights:


Grid Analysis with weights:


Trek wins! And, he loves it…

What happened here is common, in that we were focusing on one or two of the factors that often cloud a well-rounded decision.  In fact, we were leaning towards the Giant based primarily on the price difference.  This especially causes dissonance in a logical thinker like my husband.  The Giant just didn’t feel right in this case, so it wasn’t easy to make a solid decision.  Grid analysis to the rescue!  All parties agree the Trek was the best bet.

Grid Analysis is the simplest form of Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA), also known as Multiple Criteria Decision Aid or Multiple Criteria Decision Management (MCDM). Grid Analysis helps you to decide between several options, where you need to take many different factors into account.

To use the tool, lay out your options as rows on a table. Set up the columns to show the factors you need to consider. Score each choice for each factor using numbers from 0 (poor) to 5 (very good), and then allocate weights to show the importance of each of these factors.

Multiply each score by the weight of the factor, to show its contribution to the overall selection. Finally add up the total scores for each option. The highest scoring option will be the best option.  (

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