A decision matrix supports both decision-making and decision quality at the same time. A decision matrix can be viewed as the ‘logic’ behind all decisions, providing the rational for both the support and reasons to de-select or de-emphasize one of the options.

Method to Create a Decision Matrix

Once “Purpose” to the object (ie, topic) has been agreed upon, we can use the “Creativity” tool or narrative “Brainstorming” to develop lists of both the options being considered and the criteria to be used to evaluate the options.  By applying “PowerBalls” and carefully wording our questions, we can now assess the impact of each criterion on each of the options with a simple decision matrix.  For example, if we want to know which sports to target in a marketing campaign, we might develop two lists and populate the decision matrix as shown below:

Facilitate a Decision Matrix to Document Supporting Rationale

Basic Decision Matrix

  • At the intersection of each criterion and option, stipulate precisely the following at the start of your facilitated effort. “TO WHAT EXTENT DOES ‘X’ IMPACT (OR RELATE) TO ‘Y’?”
  • From the example above we might determine that from the perspective of a sports drink company, that ‘Basketball’ is a more desirable option than ‘Curling.’
  • CAUTION: AVOID THE CLOSE-ENDED QUESTION “Does ‘X’ involve ‘Y’?”  There is always a subject matter expert who can draw the correlation.  Conceding ‘Relativity’ we are not after “Does it?”.  Rather, we are focused on the degree, intensity, level, or to what extent does it.

Benefits of a Decision Matrix

Always provide your executive sponsor or steering team with a decision matrix to back-up your decision.  This simple but highly effective visual tool preempts their common question, “Why did you select ‘X’?”  The decision matrix provides your rationale and trail of logic.  Furthermore, if the decision changes, it forces the team to adjust their logic. Once document, it enables your team to be consistent with subequent decisions.


Finally, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on providing methodology. Each student thoroughly practices methodology and tools before class concludes. Additionally, some call this immersion. However, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Become Part of the Solution While You Improve Your Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology Skills

Take a class or forward this to someone who should. MG RUSH Professional Facilitation Training provides an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, 40 CDUs from IIBA, and 3.2 CEUs. As a member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF), our Professional Facilitation. Therefore, our training aligns with IAF Certification Principles and fully prepares alumni for their Certified Professional Facilitator designation.

Furthermore, our Professional Facilitation curriculum immerses students in the responsibilities and dynamics of an effective facilitator and methodologist. Because nobody is smarter than everybody, attend an MG RUSH  Professional Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology workshop offered around the world, see MG RUSH  for a current schedule.

Go to the Facilitation Training Store to access our in-house resources. You will discover numerous annotated agendas, break timers, and templates. Finally, take a few seconds to buy us a cup of coffee and please SHARE.

In conclusion, we dare you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

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Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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