Decision Analysis Framework Template

Document the Issue Background:






Decision Problem

Articulate the Decision Problem in many different ways

-Start by writing it down – question it, test it, hone it – reword it.
-Use Divergent/Convergent thinking
-Redefine problems as opportunities.
-Definition should be wide. (Question the constraints & establish workable scope)
-Every decision problem has a trigger, Identify the trigger. Ask why I am facing this problem?

-Get rid of assumptions
-Don’t think about solutions during DP articulation
-Ask others – get a fresh/outside perspective
-Be Creative

Use simple positive active voice



Understand the stakeholders and the members of the value chain and their Biases

Understand your own Biases



    1. stakeholder / bias’
    2. stakeholder / bias
    3. stakeholder / bias



Finalized Decision Problem:
Not to narrow/not to broad.

that can be addressed by  a range of alternatives.




Objectives are ends, ask why many times until you can’t go any further and find your fundamental objectives.

Means objectives represent way stations in the progress
toward a fundamental objective

what you most want to accomplish and which of your interests, values, concerns, fears, and aspirations are most relevant to achieving your goal. list up all the  key objectives (decision criteria)   (Hammond, P. 7)

Use the words Maximize or Minimize for each – and try and look at quantitative and qualitative objectives.

Objectives are Decision Criteria used to assess alternatives / course(s) of action

What we are trying to accomplish

What do we really want/need

Objectives are the bases for evaluating alternatives

Objectives are usually to Maximize or Minimize

People spend too little time on setting objectives and take a narrow view of what the objectives are

Use Divergent/Convergent thinking

Write down all concerns/hopes for making the decision

Convert concerns into objectives (e.g.. Maximize XX, minimize XX, Mitigate XX (verb and object)

determine your most important objectives



Draw a value Tree To identify all measurable attributes of possible alternatives.

Fundamental objectives constitute the
broadest objectives directly influenced by your decision alternatives.

Attributes to measure the performance (outcomes) of possible alternatives (Actions or Choices) that you can use to achieve objectives





Prune Your value tree such that attributes are
2-Useful for evaluating alternatives
3-Independent from each other
4-Not redundant



Alternatives are means and they are the answer to how?

Identify Alternatives (actions or choices) that can achieve the objectives:

–          Generate as many Alternatives as you can (at least 5), to address/solve the noted Decision Problem

–          Group/Sort & Trim as needed

failure to consider all alternatives is the most common flaw in decision making


Compare Pros and unalterable Cons of all alternatives (actions or Choices)

The FIXES and the Unalterable CONS are the real COSTs of pursuing that alternative. 

-List all Pros and all Cons
-Review and consolidate the Cons, by merging and eliminating
-Neutralize as many Cons as possible by finding fixes for them
-Compare the Pros and ‘unalterable’ cons for all options
-Pick an option

Compare these to the PROs and you will have a good picture of the merits and demerits of this alternative.

You may update your attributes.

You may identify some alternatives that are dominated.

This will allow you to explore the merits of alternatives.

Write  your conclusions and  your next step. 




Use Simple Ranking to Identify and eliminate dominated alternatives



Create consequences table

Eliminate any clearly inferior alternatives.




Simple Multi Attribute Rating Technique

Create SMART Table

Swing weights

Identify Efficiency Frontier








Create Decision Tree / Linked decision Tree

Expected Monetary value

Expected Utility




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