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I think we've all been in a situation where we've been forced to choose between several options. Maybe it's whether to take a new job, or a choice between schools, or places to live. Emotions take over and while you may be leaning in one direction at any given time, the process of actually making a decision can be paralyzing. I created this tool to help remove the emotion and help you make a decision objectively. I affectionately call this the Lynn Decision tool.

The tool maps the components of every decision.

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Choices

Choices are the options you'll be deciding between. In this case, we'll be providing a weighted score methodology which will enable you to choose the option that scores the highest.

Factors

Factors are the elements and conditions by which you'll judge each choice.

Weights

To help move this from right-brain wishy-washy emotion to left-brain analytics, we'll apply a weight to each of the factors you specified above. Evaluate each of the rows you've listed as factors or features and apply a weight to them... which factors are more important than others to you as you evaluate the options.

MS Excel Decision Tool

To use the tool follow these basic instructions:

1. Provide titles for your choices in cells C2, E2, G2, and I2. Review the tab labeled Example to see how this is done.
2. List the factors of the decision as a whole in column A rows 3 through 16. You don’t need to complete a rows - just list the things you think about when you consider each option. You’ll want to focus on outcomes or impacts of your decision when listing these factors.
3. Weight each feature on a scale of 1-5 based on how much you value this feature in column B, rows 3 through 16.
4. Provide a grade for each decision as it pertains to the factor. For many decisions, this will be highly subjective… don’t give too much thought initially to your scores. Try to record your immediate reaction.

Note: Don’t put anything in the “Score” columns… these are computed fields.

That’s it – very simple as I said. This tool can be built upon in many ways. I wanted to keep it simple initially and provide a Simple Decision tool. If you have other tools you use to help you make decisions, please use the comments field and let me know.

Download Lynn Decision Tool (v2.0)