Saturday, December 04, 2010

Decision Matrices

For a while now I've been trying to decide between getting a toaster oven or a stand mixer. I've been going back and forth on this. Finally, I put it up on facebook and got a bunch of responses from people who were either pro-toaster oven or pro-stand mixer. It was pretty entertaining actually. I still wasn't able to decide after asking my friends since people were about evenly divided on the subject. I figured it was time to make a decision matrix.

Decision matrices are awesome. I first learned about them in my econ class in high school. Basically, they are a chart that helps you make a decision between two or more options. I talked about them in a couple of my undergrad classes as a method for making decisions. No one knew what I was talking about but my Econ professor got REALLY excited and asked me all about them. I think everyone else just thought I was a nerd. I don't care, they're very useful.

Here is my decision matrix about toaster ovens and stand mixers:

Amount I'll Use It Time Saved Electricity Saved Versatility Storage Space Taste of Results Total
Toaster Oven 2 2 2 1 1 2 10
Stand Mixer 1 1 1 2 2 1 8

You put your choices on one side and all the factors on the other, basically, then decide which option "wins" that category. Add up the numbers to get the total and you have what your decision should be. Here, I have decided that I should get the toaster oven. I didn't add some other important factors like "ability to cook pizza" or "ability to cook two cookies at a time" but I thought about it.


charee said...

I remember a decision matrix you made at the coffee house. I miss you!

emlindah said...

Decision Matrices are fun! I learned about Decision Matrices 2.0 at Tech where each factor is weighted by how important it is. For example Amount Used would be rated lower than "Ability to cook two cookies at once". :)

Allie said...

I learned Decision Matrices 2.0 too! We actually used them quite frequently in a lot of my classes at Tech.

Golda said...

I'm glad you guys used them at Tech, because NO ONE at Baylor knew what I was talking about when I'd start saying how great they are. They all just looked at me like I was crazy for using such a rational tool to make decisions!

I almost weighted this one, but I had already decided I wanted the toaster oven so I didn't. But I have to agree, ability to make two cookies is probably one of the more important factors.

Cherish said...

My boss does those when deciding on new hires, but I never knew what they were called.