HOW TO USE A PAIRED-COMPARISON SPREADSHEET TO RANK RISKS, VALUES, OR PRIORITIES
Great for project management or life planning.
From the desk of Jim Lewis.
Fairview, North Carolina.
In my project management course, Project Management: Tools, Principles, Practices, I teach risk management. To do this, you look at the probability of a risk happening, the severity of the impact should it occur, and the ability to detect it ahead of time. Each of these assessments is assigned a number between 1 and 10, and the three of them are multiplied to get a Risk Priority Number. You then rank them and deal with the highest ranks first.
In another class, we do a personal values assessment, identifying up to 10 values a person has and we then rank them, so that we know the top three or four that will be important to consider in making life decisions.
It can be difficult and time-consuming to rank big lists, not to say hard to decide if an item is 8 or 9 (for example). With paired-comparisons, this becomes extremely easy. To simplify it, I created a ranking matrix using Excel, and people in my classes loved it. One fellow wrote me yearly for five years raving about how useful the spreadsheet had been for him.
Now you can get a copy. It's only $9.95, with instructions on how to use it. (You can duplicate it with no difficulty, but the time it takes will probably cost you far more than the $9.95 I'm charging. Save yourself the aggravation and buy my spreadsheet. When you pay on checkout, you will receive a download link together with information on how to use the spreadsheet. Thanks for your order in advance.
Using for important decisions.
Here are just a few of the applications of the ranking matrix. You will find more as time goes on. Any time you need to decide which of several choices is most important, you can use the process.
Choosing between several job offers
Deciding which of several candidates is best to hire.
Choosing which item to purchase when several are available.
Ranking personal values, such as integrity, honesty, freedom, health, family.
Deciding which city you would prefer to move to.
Choosing vacation destinations when several are attractive.
Details on the spreadsheet.
It can be used individually or with a team. There is a cell into which you enter the number of people ranking the items and you enter a 1 for an individual.
The sheet is designed to rank up to 10 items, and frankly, that should usually be the upper limit because ranking more than 10 becomes so time consuming that it is usually not worth the effort. When two or more items tie, the sheet will show a half-increment for two or a third-increment for three (4.5, 4.5 or 4.33 4.33, 4.33) as an example.
Works on Tablets or Phones
Any of your devices that run Excel can run this sheet, though phones have their own visual limitations. Nevertheless, it's really convenient to be able to have the spreadsheet always with you on your device.
For those of you running projects, the use of the sheet in risk management is covered in my book Project Planning, Scheduling, and Control, 3rd through 6th editions.