How to Make a Weighted Average Decision Matrix (WADM) on Paper

Dean Irwin

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Last updated: 01-09-2021

Around the world, the simple but effective Weighted Average Decision Matrix is helping the world’s most successful people make better business and personal decisions.

Making an important decision can be stressful and the pressure to make the right one can cloud your judgment and limit your ability to select the right choice. Ultimately, your decision is based on factors and their importance, but it can be difficult for many to establish these factors and their importance. The Weighted Average Decision Matrix is a tool that helps you rate these factors and ultimately make better decisions.

How do I build a Weighted Average Decision Matrix?

A weighted-average-decision matrix allows you to make better decisions. This guide will help you make Weighted Average Decision Matrixes on paper.

As a small plug here, you can click “Home” on the website you’re on right now and make a decision matrix automatically through the power of computing.

Factors

The basic concept is to list out ALL of the factors that go into your decision. For example, if you were looking to buy a fast food hamburger, you might have these factors:

  • Hunger
  • Cost
  • Food Quality
  • Speed of Service
  • Friendliness of Employees
  • Nutritional Value

Rating

Great, but these don’t tell us anything directly about the decision we need to make. For the next step, we need to assign a value between 1 and 10 for each of these factors based on how important they are to us. For example, you might rate these factors like this:

  • Hunger (9)
  • Cost (7)
  • Food Quality (5)
  • Speed of Service (8)
  • Friendliness of Employees (3)
  • Nutritional Value (4)

Options

Now we should write down each option we have. Following our example, we might end up with these options (These restaurant names are made up and do not represent real restaurant entities):

  • Pelican’s Pirate Food
  • Meme Castle Burgers
  • Jingle Jazz Christmas Cookies

Rating

Once you have all of the options written out, we can start to put this all together on a table. We want to rate the effectiveness of each of these options at each factor on a scale of 1-10.

For example, if Meme Castle Burgers costs more than Jingle Jazz Cookies, Meme Castle Burgers could get a 6, and Jingle Jazz Cookies could get a 3. I am randomly filling values out because these are fictitious companies.

Totalling

I recommend placing the scale of 1/10 inside each table cell first. Then multiply the option’s score for each factor by the factor weight, and put that value in parenthesis as shown below. For the total, we will add up every value in parenthesis for each column for our final score for that option.

Factors/OptionsFactor WeightPelican’s Pirate FoodMeme Castle BurgersJingle Jazz Christmas Cookies
Hunger93 (27)8 (72)7 (63)
Cost74 (28)8 (56)2 (14)
Food Quality54 (20)6 (30)8 (40)
Speed of Service83 (24)9 (72)7 (56)
Friendliness of Employees32 (6)8 (24)5 (15)
Nutritional Value46 (24)5 (20)8 (32)
Total129274220
Sample Table for WADM

Drawing Conclusions

According to our table, we should eat at Meme Castle Burgers because it has the highest overall score. Yum. Obviously, this is a lot of work for deciding a restaurant to eat dinner at, but we could have used this same process to decide which car to buy or where to send our child to college.

There’s so many uses for the Weighted Average Decision Matrix. We are exploring just one of them here. As you can tell from this article, making a Weighted Average Decision matrix can be kind of clunky and is oftentimes a hastle to do correctly.

Luckily for you, we built an easy way to build decision matrixes online. Simply click here to get started.