Decision-making can be made easy
With new software from Avantos, even a novice
by DANA H. SHULTZ
Sometimes making a complex decision can be difficult. Variables abound. Their relative importance is unclear. Reasonable people’s assessments can differ.
Consider, for example, choosing an expert witness. Presented with several candidates, you might look at such factors as credibility, personality, past testimony and fees, just to name a few. If one candidate is not the obvious winner on most criteria, selecting the right witness could be a problem.
Avantos Performance Systems of Emeryville has software that can help. DecideRight for Windows ($149 list price, $99 on the street) makes decision-making -- and group consensus-building -- easy.
Even a novice can create a decision table in minutes using DecideRight’s QuickBuild function, which guides the user through a five-step process:
Numeric ratings can be scaled to meet the needs of each criterion. In the example, each rating under “# of similar implementations” is the number of prior implementations for the vendor; the range is one to 10, with higher numbers being better. Each rating under “price” is the total cost of all products and services divided by $1,000; the range is 100 to 200, with lower numbers being better.
DecideRight presents the overall score for each option in the “summary” column. Scores can be presented as numbers, bars or excellent-good-fair-poor evaluations.
Once the main decision table is created, users can create alternative scenarios that reflect changes to criteria weights and ratings. Scenarios can be particularly powerful tools for group decision-making. As each participant’s scenario is presented and discussed, other participants can reflect on their own scenarios and assumptions. The participants will better understand one another’s points of view and, with a little luck, will move quickly toward consensus.
DecideRight can produce a detailed report that explains the decision and all the factors that went into making it. The explanation of which factors were most critical in choosing among the options is particularly helpful. The report can be printed or sent to a file for editing via word processing software.
A Windows 95 version of DecideRight should be released by the time you read this. Avantos can be reached at 1-800/282-6867 or on the World Wide Web at http://www.avantos.com.