10934_blue_man_carrying_a_heavy_question_mark_in_a_box-(3).jpgDeciding between a range of outcomes when there are numerous factors in the decision can be a difficult process.  The simple act of getting all the considerations in the decision down on paper can make a huge difference, and is some times all that is required.

But for more complex decisions, or decisions where you need to provide evidence of your process and how you arrived at your outcome, a more detailed tool is required.  A simple KT analysis is such a tool - highly effective and easy to use.

KT Analysis stands for Kepner Tregoe Analysis, for the authors who originally pioneered the idea.  While the example below doesn't follow their entire model, it provides a great workable tool for everyday use.

Let's say you have four tenders/proposals from four contractors or suppliers, and you need to select one.  But there's a whole range of factors in the decision - price, safety record, experience, risk and quality amongst others.  Using our tool involves three steps - weighting, rating, score.


1. The Factors in the Decision - WEIGHTING

Firstly, list all the factors or criteria that are important to this decision.  Once you've listed them all (do a brainstorm to think of everything that might be important), you give each criteria and importance weighting out of ten, with ten being the highest importance.  So for our example of evaluating contractor tenders, we feel that safety record and price and the most important, and experience the least:


To get the best and most objective outcome, it is critical that you complete this step first before you look at the options you have to choose from in detail.  You must determine the criteria and their importance first.


2. The Choices - RATING

Now we turn to the list of outcomes we have to choose from.  We list all the alternatives, and then we rate each one against the criteria we established in Step 1.  Tip: Hide the ratings you gave each criteria in Step 1 during this process.

10934_blue_man_carrying_a_heavy_question_mark_in_a_box-(4).jpgAgain, we are rating out of ten, but now we are rating how well the outcome/alternative fulfils that specific criteria.

 Side note: You don't have to have a 1 and a 10 for every factor.  If all the contractors meet your safety record criteria, then they can all get 10's, or all get 8's for example.

So for our example we score each contractor against the criteria:



3. Calculate the Outcome - SCORE

The final step is to calculate a total score for each alternative outcome.  To do this, for each alternative we multiply the rating in a particular criteria by the weighting we gave to that criteria category.  Then add all these together to get the total score for each alternative.

So far Contractor A:


For Contractor B:


he highest total score is the preferred alternative! 
Clearly we should do more analysis on the results than this, particularly if the top two outcomes scored closely.  But if we were objective in our weightings and thorough in our ratings, the top score will be our preferred outcome.

This tool is simple to use, great for making group decisions, and provides a record of how you came to your decision.

Other times you could use such a tool:

  • Mine layout selection
  • Equipment selection
  • Making personal choices (buying a car, choosing a school)

I have a spreadsheet template already setup for you to use - please email and I'll be happy to send it through!

- Mining Man