Let’s see how.
Building on your list of values (see earlier posts) identify the top five to ten or so criteria that you will use to assess your options.
Tip: Ideally you would want to use a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel to go through this as it makes the process easier. However you can also do it with paper and pencil with the help of a calculator.
Step 1. List the options you are considering in each row one below the other.
Step 2. Place your criteria next to each other column by column.
Now that you have your criteria and your options lined up it is time to bring them together and see what happens.
Step . 3 Distribute 100 points across your criteria.
Imagine having 100 coins and having to split them up so that every criteria gets a few. Try to avoid just dividing them up evenly (e.g. 20 points to each of the 5 criteria) as this reduced your ability to gain useful insights.
Step 4. Assess each option against each of your criteria
Start with the first option and score it from 0 (min) to 10 (max) against each criteria. In your Excel or paper grid this means placing a number from 0 to 10 in the cell where the option (row) meets the criteria (column). Work your way horizontally until you have gone through all the criteria for the option under assessment.
Step 5. Adjust the score to take into account the weight of each criteria
To do this, simply multiply the score in each cell in a given column for the weight of each criteria to which column it belongs. Example if option 1 vs. Criteria A scored 8 then you need to multiply 8 by how many points you had previously attributed to Criteria A (e.g. 20 out of 100). Result: 8x20=160.
Step 6. Repeat column by column until you have worked out all the weighted scores by cell.
Step 7. Sum up the totals row by row.
Now you are ready to reap the benefits of your analysis by adding up the weighted scores cell by cell, row by row. This will give you the score of each option (row). At this point you are finally ready to rank options and determine which one carries a greater total score and therefore which one better fulfils overall your criteria.
And there you have it, staring at you in the face: the highest scoring option, the one that ranks top seems to be the one right for you.
Note: It may prove helpful to take into account the probabilities of each option to turn out the way you expect it to. If you do so assign a probability to each and multiply the option by this % value. Examples option 2 may have a higher score (say with a total of 450) but is only 60% likely to turn out as expected. So multiply 450 x 60%. This resulting value is the realistic score of your option.
Step 8. Review the results and pick your option.
Whatever the outcome of this process was: congratulations!
So is time for you to make decisions?
As the new year approaches this could be the right time. Decisions followed by actions that bring you closer to you desired outcomes.