Have you ever had to make a big decision and have been stuck between a rock and a hard place? Are you just relying on your gut feeling? Do you find it hard to detail why you are coming up with the decision?
Have you ever heard of a ‘Weighted Decision Matrix (WDM)’? A WDM breaks down a large decision to be made into smaller chunks of independent criteria which you specify. It really does ‘dumb’ down a big decision into smaller bits which you can assess each criteria – and then get an overall decision based on each of the smaller chunks. It really is a helpful way to make big decisions; especially when they are not clear cut.
I have used this WDM to determine whether it truly was worth moving to another country; moving to Australia from New Zealand. It was such a hard decision to make at the time that we employed this method in order to help us make the final decision. This method proved independently it was the right decision to go for.
Here is how to do it – using moving country for example for the decision to be made.
1. List every criteria you value most in life; such as –
• Access to housing
• Access to schools
• Employment opportunities
• Cost of living
• Friends close by
• Anything else you can possibly think of which is important to you and your family.
2. Next thing to do is write a number between 1 and 5 next to each of these values you have just written. The number 1-5 corresponds to how much you value the criteria with 5 being you value it the most. Example Family – 5. You value family the most you possibly can. Money – 2. You value money only a 2 out of the scale to 5.
3. Next thing to do is list the current situation and the decision to be made. Example –
Stay in the USA / New Zealand
Move to Australia
4. Under each decision (if you stay where you are or whether you move) you need to specify of the values you have picked (Money etc) are met or not. The scale here is 0-3. IF the value you specified is completely met then you would give it a 3. Say, by moving to Australia the money value was completely satisfied, you would rate that 3. If it wasn’t then you could rate it 0 or 1 for example.)
5. Once you have rated each of your specified values/options such as money/lifestyle against each decision to be made (stay in the USA or move to Australia for example) then you multiply the value score by the criteria score.
6. Sum total each column for what you just did above and you have a winner.
7. This is a very basic example and you need to fluff out the options using many more such as access to schools, retirement etc.