How To Make Complex Decisions

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One of the things that has always driven me crazy is the way that in our minds we can decide what is right based on a number of factors but when you try to get that down on paper it is really difficult to judge how to make a decision when there are a few factors, not all important and different roads that we can go down.

These decisions come up at work, at home, during sports events, anywhere where things can change and that it is hard to make an easy decision

Finally a few weeks ago I found a great way to make this work, and work really well. First if you look at the pic of a spreadsheet below you can see how this works.

multi-factors.jpg

The example that I am using here is a rudimentary one where my wife and I were trying to decide weather to move away from Calgary or not and if so where.

How The Spreadsheet Weights Factors

 

When deciding to move I wanted to figure out where in Canada would work and at the same time I wanted to weight each city based on jobs (for me), home prices (need a roof over our head), schools and education (for the kids), and weather (to stop shivering in Winter).

You can see that not only would I want to make sure that I cover each of these factors but looking at the weighting just above the description I wanted to make sure that I weighted how important each factor was, for instance weather is not nearly as important as having a job but it still counts.

The final total at the end is just a number relative to each of the cities and really only means that the highest number is the most desirable.

Now A Chance For You To Make Decisions

So how can you mod this spreadsheet for your own reasons? You may want to use this for ideas on everything from choosing your next laptop or PC to software upgrades, to relocating like we did, or where to go on your next vacation.

Here is a link to the underlying spreadsheet

Now that you can bring this spreadsheet up in excel yourself you can mod it how you want. I think that the best thing to do is to add in your own numbers and factors.

If you wanted to use this for vacations then you could change city names to vacation destinations you could change jobs to cost of trip, you could change the weighting to say that weather is most important and lets say golf course access is least important. The formulas are simple enough but the range and numbers can be changed as you wish.

One this to be very aware of. The spreadsheet is based on the highest result being the most desirable. So do mistake highest price as being a bigger number. The highest number in any column is the most desirable so a weighting of 5 makes that factor the most important and a value in a column of 1 is the least desirable.

Let me know how you like this. I am so happy to get it in a spreadsheet and would love to know what people end up using this for.

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