This process is for weighing the pros and cons of a decision.
Weighing the pros and cons of a decision for Decision Making / Problem Solving
- flipchart paper and markers
Draw three columns on a piece of flipchart paper and label these Plus, Minus and Interesting.
Types of participants: Participants should be related to the implied decision, or affected by it.
Ideal conditions: If this method is used in a group, it is important that participants come to an agreement about the attributed score of the different items.
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: The facilitator accompanies the group through the process and intervenes if necessary. Intervention might be required, as people will have different opinions about the implications of a decision.
1. Now, either individually, or in a group, note down all positive aspects in the Plus-column and all the negative aspects in the Minus-column. The Interesting-column is used for writing down the implications and possible outcomes of taking the action, which might be positive, negative or uncertain.
2. Once the columns are filled, have a conversation about the relative weight of the pluses and minuses, and what implications these have for a decision. If it is still not clear which is stronger, ask the group to attribute all items in the columns with either positive or negative numbers that show relative strength of the pros and cons. The numbers are determined by what the group agrees on or by how the individual perceives the different items.
3. In the end, the score is added up. If the score is strongly positive, action can be taken, and if it is strongly negative, the action should be avoided.
Usual or Expected Outcomes: The pros and cons of a decisions have been weighed up and considered satisfactorily. Now, a decision can be made based on the result of the workshop.
Potential pitfalls: If participants do not reach an agreement, the process might be hindered. The facilitator needs to ensure that all participants get to share their perceptions satisfactorily.
Alternative names: Plus / Minus / Interesting