Decision Matrix

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Ever struggled to make a decision? The decisions matrix is a very useful design tool for deciding between different options which have multiple different criteria. Below is described how to use this tool with when planning a family holiday.

Step 1

With the children talk about ‘how you will decide between the different choices’. Agree which criteria are important to your family for deciding. Very young children will probably loose interest here, which is fine include them if they are interested, and allow them to play if that is their preference.

Example criteria:

Earth care

  • Low carbon emissions/eco-footprint
  • Helping nature

People care

  • Relaxing
  • Exercise
  • Learning
  • Helping other people
  • Meeting other people (friends and people with similar interests).

Fair share

  • Cost
  • Will it include everyone in the family fairly?

List the different options down the first column, as the labels for the rows. List the criteria across the top as the headings for the rows.

Step 2 – Filling out the matrix

The adult(s) and any older children can sit down scoring each option for each of your criteria. Score each option from poor (0) to fantastic (5). Some of the options will be equal for a particular criteria.

Step 3 – Relative importance

This step is optional. The idea is to work out the relative importance of each criterion, expressed as a number. For example zero (0) indicates that this criterion is completely unimportant in the final decision, and 5 shows that it is essential. Hopefully there won’t be any zeros, as this would indicate that there was no reason to list it!

Step 4

If you didn’t do step 3, also skip this step.

Multiply each of your scores made in step 2, by the relative importance from step 3.

Step 5

Add up your scores for each holiday option.

The one with the highest score wins!!!

Decision Matrix for a family holiday
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