Make better decisions with ‘Decision Making Tool’: an Excel based quantitative scoring template


Let’s say that you have to make a decision between a number of options where you have to take into account multiple factors or considerations.

It can be very useful to write these down so you can see them in front of you, but it can also be really useful to weigh the different factors quantitatively by ‘scoring’ them and giving each factor its own ‘weight’ according to it’s importance. This is exactly what Idea Sandbox’s ‘Decision Making Tool’, a free Excel template, is designed to do.

Decision Making Tool is fairly simple to use, and will allow you to work with up to 5 different choices and up to 5 different related factors (which it referrers to as ‘qualities of the decision’). You don’t actually have to use all 5 slots for options or qualities; leave them blank if you don’t need them.

Decision Making Tool doesn’t support analyzing MORE than 5 options, and although it can be easily extended with minimal Excel knowledge, it is better to simply keep things simple, and stick to 5 factors as a maximum.

Otherwise, a very simple tool. Decide on your factors, the weights, and the values, and see how much each one of your options scores.

Note: if it seems like quantifying a decision in this way is too simplistic, remember this: the value of this process lies in the exercise, and not so much how much each of the options gets.

Compatibility: multiplatform, requires MS Excel or similar spreadsheet that can read/write XLS files, such as OpenOffice or LibreOffice.

Download the Decision Making Tool Excel template from Idea Sandbox’s ‘brainstorming tools’ page (23K), top of the page.

  • Rafi

    Thanks for this.
    Do you know of any similar program that can do head to head comparison between different option?
    kind of like “bubble sort” where user are asked to choose between two options at a time, going through all combinations (I hope you undestandand what I trying to say).

    • Samer

      @ Rafi: I think I know what you mean; I don’t remember much about bubble sort (from back when I was learning BASIC a million years ago), but if I remember correctly it is quite inefficient when it comes to large numbers of options. Anyway I am would love to see a prioritization app that asks the user to compare each one of the options head-on. Does anybody know of one?

  • Samer

    @ Rafi: I just found exactly the kind of tool you are looking for, called ‘Prioritizer’, on the very same site that ‘Decision Making Tool’ is on.

    The thing is: it doesn’t seem to work on Chrome, but worked just fine when I tried it on IE.

  • Nice find Samer. This is similar to the spreadsheet I made for the 2008 Presidential race. The goal was to filter out as much personal bias (and non-relevant influences) as possible so as to choose the best candidate based on issues. The hardest part was rank-ordering them by assigning relative ‘weight.’ From there, it was only a matter of figuring out where each candidate stood. There were a lot more than five factors of course…

  • Electro Gypsy
  • Hi! Just wanted to say thanks so much for linking to Idea Sandbox. I’m glad both the template and the Prioritizer tool have been helpful for you and your readers!

    If there are other topics that need addressing, let me know… I love the challenge of helping turn complex ideas into something easier.

    Happy New Year! – Paul