Systems Thinking Vocabulary

Decision matrix

Elements of a decision matrix show decisions based on certain decision criteria

The term decision matrix is used to describe a multiple-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) problem. An MCDA problem, where there are M alternative options and each needs to be assessed on N criteria, can be described by the decision matrix which has N rows and M columns, or M × N elements. (Wikipedia)
A decision matrix is a list of values in rows and columns that allows an analyst to systematically identify, analyze, and rate the performance of relationships between sets of values and information. (Wikipedia)

A decision matrix is a tool to help you select and make the best decisions by evaluating them based on a set of key criteria. This is especially useful if there are multiple important factors that affect your decision-making process or if there are huge consequences coming out of the decision you’re trying to make. A decision matrix can also be called a Pugh matrix, multi-criteria decision analysis, grid analysis, decision grid or problem selection matrix. (VENNGAGE)

American Society for Quality considers that we can use a Decision Matrix:

  • When a list of options must be narrowed to one choice
  • When the decision must be made on the basis of several criteria
  • After a list of options has been reduced to a manageable number by list reduction

Typical situations are:

  • When one improvement opportunity or problem must be selected to work on
  • When only one solution or problem-solving approach can be implemented
  • When only one new product can be developed



Concept Coordinates

A decision matrix is a tool to evaluate and select the best option between different choices. This tool is particularly useful if you are deciding between more than one option and there are several factors you need to consider in order to make your final decision. (Julia Martins, ASANA)

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