Rationalize.io



1: Naming

2: Criteria

3: Options

4: Scoring

Name the Decision.
The first step in the process of making a good decision is making sure we are clear on what that decision actually is. In this step of the process, take some time and think a bit through this problem. Why is this problem an important one to you? What exactly are you trying to clarify? When you have described this problem in your head, come up with a title for this decision and write it down in the field bellow.




1: Naming

2: Criteria

3: Options

4: Scoring

Define the Criteria.
Now that you have formalized the problem in your head, it is time to define the criteria you are going to use to make this decision. Criteria answers the question of "What matters to you?" in this decision making process and the weight of each criteria answers the question "How much does it matter?".

Let’s say you are looking to buy a new car. There are a handful of factors or criteria that you would consider relevant to your selection. Specifically, you are going to base your decision on the following criteria:

Price MPG
Comfort Speed

Chances are, not all of these factors are equally important to you, so you need to assign the weight to each of these criteria. After thinking through, you have decided that these are your rankings:

Price – The most important factor. You don’t want to overspend.
Fuel Economy – Pretty important as well since you are a daily driver.
Comfort – Middle of the range factor. You would like it but can live without it.
Speed/Acceleration – It’s not completely irrelevant, but not a huge factor in your decision-making.

You rank these accordingly, so your final rankings are:

10 7 5 3

  • Criteria:
    Importance:


1: Naming

2: Criteria

3: Options

4: Scoring


Define Your Options
In this section, you define the options that are available to you. These are, simply, you alternatives or courses of action you are considering.

Going back to the car-buying decision, your options in this scenario would be the cars you are considering. You are doing well in life, so your choices look like the following: BMW 3 Series, Tesla Model S, Audi A4, and of course Mercedes C Class.

BMW 3 Series Tesla Model 3
Audi A4 Mercedes C Class

  • Option:


1: Naming

2: Criteria

3: Options

4: Scoring


Rank Your Options on the Chosen Criteria
This is the final step of this decision-making process. Here, you have to think through every option that you have available and rank it on how well it satisfies your chosen criteria. The better the option satisfies the criteria, the closer to 10 should the number be.

In the car-buying example, each one of the described options, will likely perform differently on the criteria we've outlined in the Step 2 of the process. So, for example, Tesla Model 3 scores might be the following:

  • Price - With all bells and whistles, it is the most expensive car on the list (1)
  • Fuel Economy - Uses no gas, so by far performs the best (10)
  • Comfort - You tend to prefer more familar styling as opposed to space-age minimalism (4)
  • Speed/Acceleration - Puts everyone else to shame (10)

The rest of the car get their own, respective, values on these. The hypothetical table, then, would look like this:
7 1 10 6
4 10 3 9
8 4 7 10
8 10 5 1