Decision matrix in project management

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Jan 31, 2024

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Decision Matrix in Project Management

A decision matrix is a tool used in project management to help the project manager make decisions. A decision matrix considers all the options and then ranks them based on criteria defined by the project manager or stakeholder. This allows you to prioritise decisions, choose the best way forward, and avoid making bad decisions altogether.

What is a Decision Matrix?

A decision matrix is a simple tool to evaluate options and make decisions using a table that compares multiple options to determine which option(s) should be selected.

This tool can be applied to any project, from small tasks and assignments to large-scale projects. The decision matrix visually compares different options to select the best one(s) quickly and easily. It is designed for use by anyone who needs to make decisions—project managers, team members, and even clients/customers if they are so inclined!

The decision matrix provides a way to organise information to make better decisions. The tool can be used for any project, whether a large-scale undertaking or an individual task.

How To Use The Decision Matrix Method?

A decision matrix, also known as a decision table or choice table, is a tool to help you evaluate and compare options to make better decisions. It can be used for almost any situation with multiple possible outcomes, such as choosing between different software or services.

When should I use a decision matrix? You might want to create a decision matrix if you want to:

●    Evaluate multiple options at once (sometimes called multi-criteria analysis) or

●    Model how your decisions will change based on different values (such as costs).

To create a decision matrix, you must identify the criteria important to your decision and fill in the values for each option. This tool can help you make decisions about anything, from what type of software is right for your company to choose between different types of investments.

How To Create A Decision Matrix?

A decision matrix can help you get past indecision and quickly prioritise options when making tough decisions. This is how you can create a decision matrix:

1. Define the purpose of the decision matrix

A decision matrix is a tool to help make decisions, so it is important to define the purpose of the decision matrix. A decision matrix helps us prioritise options and make quicker and better decisions. It also helps us get past indecision by clarifying what is at stake when we choose one option over another.

2. Understand the importance of quantity over quality

The crucial aspect is that you have a very limited time to decide. The more time you take, the less likely it is that your decision will be good enough for now.

The other important point is that quantity over quality is often the best approach when making decisions. This means that even though you might not know exactly what will happen after making this decision, or even if this decision will work out in your favour, you should still go ahead and make one anyway because any action beats no action.

3. Be clear about where you need to make decisions

Before you start building your decision matrix, it is important to be clear about what decisions you need to make and which ones you don't.

The goal of the decision matrix is to save time and energy by ensuring everyone involved in the process knows where they stand. It lets everyone know where they are in terms of their involvement with a project or initiative at any given time.

4. Brainstorm alternatives to solve problems

Brainstorming is a creative process to generate options and ideas. It helps you get past indecision and decide how to solve problems. Brainstorming helps you prioritise options, generate solutions to problems, and develop innovative Project Management ideas.

5. Consider choosing a numerical weighting system

The next step is to decide how you want to weigh each factor and the range of values. You can do this by choosing a numerical weighting system.

The most common choice is to use 1–10, but other options include -1 to +1 or 0–100. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which scale works best with your data and audience—but be sure that the numbers are clearly defined so they are easy for people outside of your organisation (or even other departments within it) to understand.

6. Identify your criteria for success

When creating a decision matrix, it is important to identify the criteria for success. The criteria should be measurable and relevant to the problem. They should also be well-defined, mutually exclusive, and quantifiable.

7. Rate each option against each criterion

To create a decision matrix, you first need to rate each option against each criterion. For example, if you were choosing between two jobs, your rating would be based on how well each job meets your personal preferences (location, salary, and work environment).

Once you have rated all the options against all the criteria, add the total points for each option so that you can clearly compare them. If one job has more points than another in any given area, it will likely have more points overall.

If there is a clear winner after comparing all options against all criteria, congratulations! You have just made an informed decision using a decision matrix. However, if there are several close contenders—do not fret! You can use additional information about what's important to you (like cost) and other factors that may sway your final choice (such as company culture).

8. Determine the direction and strength of correlation between criteria

Correlation is a measure of the degree to which two variables change together. The strength of correlation can be measured by the coefficient of correlation, which ranges from +1 to -1. A coefficient of +1 indicates that the two variables move in perfect lockstep with each other; a coefficient of -1 indicates that they move in perfect opposition. A coefficient near zero means they are weakly related, while a coefficient close to 1 or -1 shows a strong relationship between them.

The direction and strength of correlation can be used to predict outcomes when multiple data sets are available. For example, suppose you have historical sales data for your product line over several years. In that case, you could use this information as well as customer surveys on satisfaction levels with your products and services over time to build a decision matrix that helps choose between two different strategies: whether or not to increase prices (a strategy) versus investing more heavily in marketing (another strategy).

Pros And Cons Of The Decision Matrix Method


  • The decision matrix in the project management process is an easy-to-understand tool.
  • It is simple enough to be used by almost anyone involved in a project.
  • Decision matrices are useful because they help you collect, analyse, and evaluate data needed before reaching a conclusion. 
  • This makes it easier for you to make decisions based on facts rather than emotion or guesswork. 
  • Decision matrices are also useful for tracking progress, as they provide a way to evaluate the results of your decision.


  • The list of criteria options is arbitrary.
  • Less important criteria might be included, distracting decision-makers from making the right choice. 
  • The values you assign to guesses aren't based on quantitative measurements. 

A decision matrix is the best way to decide between options

A decision matrix is the best way to decide between options. It is a grid with options on one axis and criteria on the other. The matrix helps you rank your options against each criterion.

It can be used to evaluate project proposals or help you choose between two or more strategies in any situation where there are many possible ways forward.


A decision matrix is a great tool for project management. It helps you make decisions when faced with multiple options and ensures that all your stakeholders are heard. The decision matrix can be used in many areas of project management. However, it is most useful when multiple options are available, and you must decide which works best for your business. Reach out to StarAgile Consulting, as they provide professional pmp training that can help empower your organisation to achieve its full potential.


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