There are many decisions that we make as individuals and as managers, and these decisions may be evaluated clearly, such as trying to buy a new car of a specific type from the cheapest seller, or trying to book a trip for three days in a coastal city from the most famous tourism office, or trying to enroll in the nearest university to your home, or … Such decisions are easy because the selection criterion is only one, such as the price of the car, the popularity of the tourist office, or the proximity of the university to the house, but there are decisions that are characterized by the difficulty of choosing because they are not subject to one criterion, but to multiple criteria. Examples of these decisions include: buying a new house, this is subject to multiple factors such as the price of the house, the method of payment, the residential neighborhood, the location of the windows in relation to the sun and the wind, the size of the rooms, the number of rooms, the design of the house…., choosing a pair is subject to several criteria such as shape, origin, Debt, financial ability, acceptance… Determining working hours, as this is related to the hours of attendance of customers, the ability of male and female workers to come and leave at those times, and the labor law that determines working hours. These decisions are called multi-criteria decisions.
There are several multi-criteria decision-making tools that maximize goals such as linear programming of goals, binary ordering, and score matrix that we discuss in this article.
This matrix is a table that enables us to calculate the overall preference for each decision. This table is characterized as simple because it requires only multiplication and addition skills, and therefore any supervisor, manager, youth or student can use it. This matrix is called the points matrix because it depends on identifying points for each criterion (goal) of the decision-making criteria, and it is sometimes called the Decision Matrix, or the Solution Selection Matrix.
The basic idea of the score matrix is to evaluate all options for all criteria (goals) with a relative weight for each criterion, as if you said I will evaluate job offers that I compare on the basis of income (30%), job (15%), work location ( 15%, reputation of the organization (10%), job stability (15%), working hours (5%), opportunities for promotion (10%).
Steps to use the dot matrix:
Let’s review the steps for applying the dot matrix and we will consider that we want to buy a house (apartment).
1- Determine the available and possible options: You may be offered dozens of apartments, but you completely exclude some of them because they clearly contradict your requirements, such as the price being higher than your ability, or the apartment being smaller than you can accept. In the end, you will have several acceptable options that you will want to choose between.
2- Determining the selection criteria: Now we have to set the selection criteria, so ask yourself what are you looking for? What are the things you wish for in that house? Determining criteria is a step that we must take carefully, because if we omit one of the important criteria, our choice will be wrong. For example, if we neglect to consider the number of rooms, we may choose a house that does not suit us at all.
3- Determining a relative weight for each criterion: There may be a wonderful house with a high price, and there may be a less spacious house, but it is less expensive. How do these options compare? We have to put a relative weight on each criterion, for example I put 10 for total space, 20 for price, and 5 for proximity to work and schools. This means that I care about the price a lot, the proximity to work and schools a little, and the total area an average amount. Determining the relative weight depends on our appreciation of the importance of each criterion. In the event that we choose a house, the relative weight reflects our desires, and in the case of choosing a product design, the relative weight reflects the customer’s requirements.
Determining the relative weight is an estimated process, but it is not just numbers we assume, but is the result of our information about our priorities. or customer or employee priorities. It is not required that the sum of the relative weights be 100 or 1000, but what is important is that there is a proportionality between the weights that reflects the true weight of each criterion. For example, weights from 1 to 5 may be used, so that 1 means unimportant, and 5 means very important, and you may use any Other weights, such as putting weights from 1 to 20 or 30.
4- Evaluation of each choice in relation to each criterion: try to evaluate the extent to which each option is unique in relation to each criterion, so we start with the first option and set a score for the total area so that the maximum is 10 degrees regardless of the relative weight, and you will notice that the first option (the first house) has got 7/10 in total area, 2/10 in proximity to action, 7.5/10 in price, and so on. Repeat the same for all options. This assessment may be quantitative, such as space, or qualitative (estimated), such as privacy and beauty. Note that 10 means “very excellent,” zero means “very bad,” and 5 means average, and so on. If the price is low, the score will be close to 10, and if it is high, the score will be close to zero. If it is small, the degree will be close to zero, and so on.
5- We calculate the product of multiplying the relative weight of each criterion by the evaluation of each option for the same criterion: We now want to take into account the relative weight of each criterion, so we multiply the evaluation of each option by the corresponding relative weight. In the first option, we multiply 7 * 10 for the total area, so we get 70, and for proximity to work and schools, we multiply 2 * 5, and we get 10, and in privacy and beauty, we multiply 9 * 10, and we get 90.
6- Calculating the sum of the sum of the points of each choice: We now collect the points of each option, so we get the total points, which in this example for the options from the first to the third are as follows: 700, 775, 835, respectively.
7- Making the decision to choose the one with the highest points: We are looking for the option with the highest points, so it is the best option, and in the current example, it is the third option, as it got the highest number of points (835).
With this, we have been able to reach the decision that achieves the greatest amount of our goals (our criteria) in a logical and fast way.
Example: Choosing a major of study
Suppose you are in the process of choosing a major for bridle study
You have three options: Industrial Engineering, Business Administration, and Mechanical Engineering. How do we use the points matrix to choose major?
We define the criteria for choosing a specialty? What influences our choice? I think that among the most important criteria: love of study, personal qualifications for this specialization, availability of specialization in a nearby university, availability of job opportunities, expected financial income. We then set a relative weight for each criterion, and this relative weight differs from one person to another. There are those who care very much about the university being close to their home, and there are those who do not care about this matter. I will assume that I do not care much about the proximity of the university, the ease of study, or the number of years compared to other factors such as love of study, job opportunities, and tuition fees. We can now configure the score matrix to choose the major of study.
The score matrix shows us that the Business Administration major is the best for this person based on the criteria and relative weights that he has set. It goes without saying that the standards and weights differ from one person to another, and therefore the result varies.
Example: selection of production technology
Suppose you are a production manager for a company that is characterized by product quality and diversity, and the strategy of this company is concerned with providing a distinguished product and is concerned with the environment and is also concerned with not abandoning labor, and you are currently considering using another modern technology for production (we will call it Technology No. 1) that allows you to reduce the cost of the product and increase production with Standardizing the product, increasing pollution, and dispensing with some labor. At the same time, you were offered another technology (we will call it Technology No. 2), which is an extension of the current technology. The current technology is lower than the No. 1 technology, while reducing the pollution caused by the factory and increasing the quality slightly. How do you choose between being as you are and Technology No. 1 and Technology No. 2?
First, we begin by defining the selection criteria such as: product quality, production volume, unit cost, product diversity, ease of use and learning of technology, employment acceptance of this technology. Secondly, we begin to set the relative weights, and this is an accurate matter, as it will differ from one institution to another. In our example, we will put a great deal of weight on the diversity and quality of the product because we are distinguished by that, and we will put less weight on the cost. Third, we begin to evaluate each technology against each criterion. Fourth, we calculate the points for each technology. The dot matrix in this case looks like this:
The score matrix shows us that technology No. 2, which is an advanced extension of the current technology, is the best option, and at the same time, retaining the current technology is better than switching to technology No. 1. Note that technology No. 1 received a poor overall rating, although it increases production And it reduces the cost, because it reduces the diversity of the product, increases the level of pollution, and requires the abandonment of some labor. The result may be different for another organization because it depends on the relative weight of each criterion, I put a lot of weight here on product diversity, environmental and labor conservation, which resulted in a decrease in the total number of Technology No. 1.
Example: choosing a factory location
Suppose that you want to open a new branch for your factory and you have two options: town A and town B. As for A, it is a tourist town with wonderful weather, and it is close to suppliers, close to transportation routes, and far from consumers. It is characterized by the availability of untrained manual labor, lack of managers and engineers, as well as weak Infrastructure and low level of income, while B is distinguished by its proximity to consumers, availability of qualified labor and availability of managers and engineers, but the level of income is higher in city B, which is relatively far from suppliers, and facilities and services are available, and land in this city costs twice as much as in the city First, this town is characterized by extreme heat in the summer. In both towns there will not be much difference in compliance with environmental laws. Your industry is characterized by its energy consumption, and the difficulty of transporting the final product over long distances because it quickly deteriorates when exposed to the atmosphere, and the technology used is characterized by its development.
You can now follow the example with the matrix above. Site B is clearly the best for this particular plant because a lot of what it has is essential to the industry.
Example: choosing a production manager
Suppose you are responsible for the final selection of the production manager among three candidates: Hassan, Fouad, and Khaled. All of them have been working in our organization for years and each has something special about it. As for Hassan, he is very honest and has strong technical experience, and he is less capable of leadership than the other two. As for Khaled, he has wonderful technical experience and great ability to lead, but his relations with others are somewhat weak. As for Fouad, he is less than the other two in technical experience, but he is honest. He is a successful leader and has a great ability to communicate and build relationships.
I leave to the honorable reader to analyze the following points matrix:
As you can see, the decision matrix is characterized by its ease of use and the diversity of its applications, and it is a means that helps us to make a decision based on an objective analysis that covers all criteria. You may use this matrix alone or with a team, you may use it to make personal decisions, to make managerial decisions, or to make technical decisions, you may use it to choose a supplier, choose an application of information systems, choose a machine, or choose a job. Try the score matrix to improve your decisions, and remember that there is a big difference between a decision that comes from guessing or feeling and a decision that comes from careful analysis and comparison.