Basic Facilitation Skills: #2 How To Facilitate Consensual Prioritization with a Decision Matrix

Terrence Metz
Published Tuesday, 1 November 2016


Video demonstration of how to use a Decision Matrix to support decision-making at all levels.  It can be viewed as the ‘logic’ behind all decisions, providing the rational for both the support and reasons to de-select or de-emphasize one of the options.


Once “Purpose” to the object (ie, topic) has been agreed upon, we can use the “Creativity” tool or narrative “Brainstorming” to develop lists of both the options being considered and the criteria to be used to evaluate the options.  By applying “Powerballs” and carefully wording our questions, we can now assess the impact of each criterion on each of the options with a simple matrix.  For example, if we want to know which sports to target in a marketing campaign, we might develop two lists and populate the matrix as shown below:

• At the intersection of each criterion and option, stipulate precisely the following at the start of your facilitated effort: “TO WHAT EXTENT DOES ‘X’ IMPACT (OR RELATE) TO ‘Y’?”

• From the example above we might determine that from the perspective of a sports drink company, that ‘Basketball’ is a more desirable option than ‘Curling.’

• CAUTION: AVOID THE CLOSE-ENDED QUESTION “Does ‘X’ involve ‘Y’?”  There is always a subject matter expert who can draw the correlation.  Conceding ‘Relativity’ we are not after “Does it?”. Rather, we are focused on the degree, intensity, level, or to what extent does it.