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Grid Analysis (also known as Decision Matrix Analysis, Pugh Matrix Analysis or MAUT, which stands for Multi-Attribute Utility Theory) is a useful technique to use for making a decision. I have paraphrased the following description from the excellent MindTools website. Grid analysis is particularly powerful where you have a number of good alternatives to choose from, and many different factors to take into account. A law department might use it when choosing a matter management system or as part of a competitive bidding process for outside counsel.

The technique starts by you listing your options as rows on a table, and the factors you need consider as columns. You then score each option/factor combination, weight this score, and add these scores up to give an overall score for the option.

1. List all of your options as the row labels on a spreadsheet, and list the factors that you need to consider as the column headings.

2. Next, work out the relative importance of the factors in your decision. Show these as numbers from, say, 0 to 5, where 0 means that the factor is absolutely unimportant in the final decision, and 5 means that it is very important. (It’s perfectly acceptable to have factors with the same importance.) We will use these to weight your preferences by the importance of the factor.

3. The next step is to work your way down the columns of your table, scoring each option for each of the factors in your decision. Score each option from 0 (poor) to 5 (very good). Note that you do not have to have a different score for each option – if none of them are good for a particular factor in your decision, then all options should score 0.

4. Now multiply each of your scores from step 3 by the values for relative importance you calculated in step 2. This will give you weighted scores for each option/factor combination.

5. Finally, add up these weighted scores for each of your options. The option that scores the highest wins!

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