A General Note on Tools

A General Note on Tools

Tools #1 and #3A have special due dates as noted.  Tools #4 and #7, plus two additional tools of the student’s choosing must be completed just after the end of Module 4.  Five additional tools must be completed just after the end of Module 8.  Note: Tools #2, #3B, #13, #14, and #15 are restricted to the final third of the course.  The Course Calendar (see Syllabus page) is always the best source of information regarding due dates for tools — do not rely on Canvas reminders.  Students should map out a plan for completing tools that fits well with their project strategies – keeping in mind the guidelines listed here.  If unsure when to complete a specific tool, please contact the instructor.

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Tool Number Seven: Grid Analysis

Timing: Tool #7 must be completed and turned in during the initial third of the Service-Learning Project and the Leadership Tools Marathon. See the Course Calendar for details. Examples used in the response to this tool must include information taken from your Service-Learning Project at Animal Friends. 

BACKGROUND ON GRID ANALYSIS:

Grid Analysis involves making decisions by weighting different factors.

Many decisions have several alternatives to choose from for a solution. This tool is especially useful in making a decision where there is not a clear and obvious solution. Using Grid Analysis allows a leader to make a decision in a rational and measured way that then leads to increased confidence in the decision.

The information on this tool comes from www.mindtools.com (Links to an external site.). You may want to go the website and download the free Grid Analysis worksheet or you can find one on Canvas. Other Internet and/or library resources may yield variations of the worksheets that may be more adaptable to your needs. Feel free to use any related worksheets, but keep in mind that “trial” worksheets usually carry the trial company’s name and/or logo or that they may have other restrictions that may cause problems with reproduction down the road. Check out any restrictions before your work effort becomes too involved and your work product is basically useless.

Grid Analysis Example:

Steps In Using The Tool For A Caterer Who Needs To Find A New Supplier For Raw Materials:

List the solution options as rows.

  1. The caterer generally uses four suppliers; 1, 2, 3, and 4.
  • List the factors that must be considered as columns.
    1. The caterer wants to look at five factors – cost, quality, location, reliability, and payment options – for each supplier.
  • Score each option/factor combination by weighing each score by the relative importance of the factor. Use 0 (very poor) to 5 (very good). It is not necessary to have a different score in each box. If all of the options are 0 (very poor) on a factor, put a 0 in the box.
    1. Figure One:
  Factors: Cost Quality Location Reliability Payment Options Total
  Weights:            
  Supplier 1 1 0 0 1 3  
  Supplier 2 0 3 2 2 1  
  Supplier 3 2 2 1 3 0  
  Supplier 4 2 3 3 3 0  

 

  1. Decide the relative importance of the factors in the decision. Use 0 (very poor) to 5 (very good). It is acceptable to have factors with the same importance. (If the values are not obvious, you may want to us a tool called the “Paired Comparison Analysis” (from mindtools.com (Links to an external site.)) for a better estimate.)
    1. Figure Two:
  Factors: Cost Quality Location Reliability Payment Options Total
  Weights: 4 5 1 2 3  

 

  1. To get the weighted scores for each option/factor combination, multiply the numbers in Figure One with the numbers with Figure Two to derive Figure Three.
    1. Figure Three:
  Factors: Cost Quality Location Reliability Payment Options Total
  Supplier 1 4 0 0 2 9  
  Supplier 2 0 15 2 4 3  
  Supplier 3 8 10 1 6 0  
  Supplier 4 8 15 3 6 0  

 

  1. Add up the horizontally weighted scores for each option. (See Figure Four.) Select the option with the highest score. In this example, the caterer should choose the fourth supplier even though there is a lack of flexibility in payment options.
    1. Figure Four
  Factors: Cost Quality Location Reliability Payment Options Total
  Weights: 4 5 1 2 3  
  Supplier 1 4 0 0 2 9 15
  Supplier 2 0 15 2 4 3 24
  Supplier 3 8 10 1 6 0 25
  Supplier 4 8 15 3 6 0 32

 

Keep in mind that in most cases using Grid Analysis, there is no perfect decision in the beginning of the decision-making process. However, if there was a perfect decision in the start of the decision-making process, Grid Analysis would not be needed.

NOTE: Grid Analysis is also referred to as the “Decision Matrix Analysis,” the “Pugh Matrix Analysis,” or the “Multi-Attribute Utility Theory.” In terms of locating reference material, it may be helpful to utilize these other configurations. However, if discussing them in your work, put them in context with the specific model name since it is most likely that the models may have slight differences when compared to the Grid Analysis.

REQUIREMENTS:

This section should be no longer than six single-spaced pages in the written summary. Please note that this section should be pulled together — where the content of this material must be unique and different from the others in the course.

A template for this section includes the following component that is to be completed by each student:

  1. In the course of completing the Service-Learning Project at Animal Friends and the Leadership Tools Marathon, each student will have several decisions to make. Each student will have at least one decision to make in the completion of his/her job or duty. What was this decision(s)? Using the Grid Analysis, explain the problem in detail and construct the four figures from this section using the relevant data.       Explain how you used the Grid Analysis in implementing your decision. What were the results of your decision and how did these results impact the progress in the Service-Learning Project?

If needed, consider putting the decision tree (from www.mindtools.com (Links to an external site.)) in your written summary, if this decision is different from the example decision used in Tool #6. A flow chart or process map to outline your specific steps may also be helpful to your decision-making process.

Include at least three references on Grid Analysis from sources other than www.mindtools.com (Links to an external site.) and the syllabus.

Suggested Lussier and Achua textbook chapters that concern making decisions include Chapters 3 and 4.

Second work

EXTRA CREDIT TOOL: PAIRED COMPARISON ANALYSIS

Timing: This Extra Credit Tool must be completed and turned in during the initial third of the Service-Learning Project at Animal Friends and the Leadership Tools Marathon. In other words, it must be turned in at the same time as Tool #7. See the Course Calendar for details. Examples used in the response to this tool must include information taken from your Service-Learning Project at Animal Friends.

Students may earn up to 250 points of extra credit by completing a paired comparison analysis using the tool described in this section.

Sometimes, there are many different options as a solution to a problem. These different options can be given relative weights. Making a decision under this scenario is extremely challenging when priorities are not clear, the options are quite different from one another, if the decision criteria are subjective, and/or if there is no objective data to use for the decision, and/or where the options are competing in importance.

Paired Comparison Analysis (also known as Pairwise Comparison) involves the “apples to oranges” scenario. Paired Comparison Analysis makes it easy to choose the most important problem to solve or to pick the solution that will be most efficient and effective to incorporate. This tool also helps a decision-maker set priorities when there are conflicting demands on the resources.

Paired Comparison Analysis is also useful when there is a comparison of different options that are subjective in nature. For example, if a person(s) needs to be hired for a new role, he/she may need to be relatively evaluated based on his/her qualifications, skills, experience, and team working ability.

Note that the information on this tool comes from www.mindtools.com (Links to an external site.). You may want to go the Website and download the free worksheet on Paired Comparison Analysis or you can find one in the literature. Other resources may yield variations of the worksheets that may be more adaptable to your needs. Feel free to use any related worksheets, but keep in mind that “trial” worksheets may carry the trial company’s name and/or logo or have other restrictions that may cause problems with reproduction down the road. Check these out before your work effort becomes too involved.

Paired Comparison Analysis Example:

Steps In Using The Tool For A Philanthropist In Choosing Between Several Different Nonprofit Organizations Looking For Funding:

  1. Make a list of all of the options that are to be compared. Assign each option a letter (A, B, C, D, and so on.)
    1. In this example, only a few can receive funding to maximize impact.
  • A: An overseas development project.
  • B: A local educational project.
  • C: A bequest for the local university.
  • D: Disaster relief.
    1. See Figure 1.

Figure 1 – Example Paired Comparison Analysis Table (not filled in):

  A: Overseas Development B: Local Educational C: University D: Disaster Relief
A: Overseas Development        
B: Local Educational        
C: University        
D: Disaster Relief        

 

(Note the dark and light cells – the dark cells will be ignored since they either compare options with themselves or represent combinations that already exist in the light cells.)

  1. Place the options as both the row and the column headings on the worksheet. (This allows the comparison of the options with each other.) Each comparison is used only one time. The cells where the option is compared with itself are blocked out. The cells where there is a duplicated comparison are also blocked out – as in the note above.
  2. Within each of the blank cells, compare the option in the row with the option in the column. Decide which of the two options is most important. (You will need to decide what criteria to apply here when deciding which option in each pair is more important. Be sure to use the same criteria each time for consistency.)
  3. Write down the letter of the most important option in the cell. Then, score the difference in importance between the options, running from zero (no difference and/or same importance) to three (major difference and/or one option is much more important than the other.)
    1. See Figure 2.

Figure 2 – Example Paired Comparison Analysis Table (filled in):

  A: Overseas Development B: Local Educational C: University D: Disaster Relief
A: Overseas Development   A, 2 C, 1 A, 1
B: Local Educational     C, 1 B, 1
C: University       C, 2
D: Disaster Relief        
  1. Finally, consolidate the results by adding up the values for each of the options from A to D. The values can be converted into a percentage of the total score.
    1. These calculations yield the following totals:
  • A = 3 (37.5 percent). This is 3 out of 8.
  • B = 1 (12.5 percent). This is 1 out of 8.
  • C = 4 (50 percent).     This is 4 out of 8.
  • D = 0.
    1. The philanthropist decides to make a bequest to the local university (C) and to allocate some funding to overseas development (A).
  1. Common sense can be used to manually adjust the results if necessary.

(Note: Point 6 is very important. Whenever a model like this is put into play, one should always step back and ask if the results make good, common sense. If not, go back and adjust the model – maybe by questioning the criteria used to make the importance selections.)

REQUIREMENTS:

This section should be no longer than three single-spaced pages in the written summary. Since this section involves extra credit points, please note that this section should be pulled together by each student — where the content of this material must be unique to the project at hand.

Paired Comparison Analysis is useful in weighing the relative importance of different options. It is especially helpful when priorities are not clear, where the options are completely different, where evaluation criteria are subjective, there is no objective data, and/or where the options are competing in importance. As a tool, Paired Comparison Analysis provides a framework for comparing each option against all others and in showing the differences in importance between factors.

Over the course of the Service-Learning Project at Animal Friends and the Leadership Tools Marathon, if you have to make a decision that would fit the criteria in using Paired Comparison Analysis, consider using this tool. To earn extra credit points, describe how you applied the Paired Comparison Analysis tool to a decision that you made, including the tabular representation of the process as shown in the example. Explain, step-by-step, how you arrived at a workable decision. 

Include at least three references on the Paired Comparison Analysis model from sources other than www.mindtools.com (Links to an external site.) and the syllabus.   Suggested Lussier and Achua textbook chapters that concern making decisions include Chapters 3 and 4.

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