Even decisions have decisions that need to be made once the original decisions are made. It is a never-ending cycle, and you need help keeping all the decisions straight. If you are good at flow charts, then making a decision tree should not be a problem.
It takes a little research to create a good decision tree, but once you have done your homework, all bases should be covered. All you have to do is make the right decisions.
What Is a Decision Tree Template?
A decision tree is a chart that lists all initial decisions that need to be made and then all the subsequent decisions that have to be dealt with once the original decision has been made.
After that, the chart lists all possible results for each decision and its sub-decisions so the powers that be understand which direction they will be headed in. A decision tree helps assess all available options before the company decides on which path to take.
Elements of a Decision Tree
Not every tree will have the same number of elements. Some may be simple to construct, while others may be more complicated. Here are some of the essential elements involved in the decision tree construction:
- Original question – this is the first step of the process, and all following branches and leaves of the tree will come from this root.
- Create decisions – these are the branches that come as you explore every possible answer to the original question. There may only be a few branches, or there may be many. It all depends on the project question.
- Look for results – these are represented by different leaves, and the motivating question is ‘if that, then what will happen next?’
- Add branches – these will come as you explore different avenues that you can take
- Stop building branches – this happens when you reached the final answer for each option
- Review – this step is taken to make sure all stakeholders involved are on board and agree with the decisions made
Decision Tree Templates and Examples
The benefits of Creating Decision Tree
- Flexibility – planning is not set in stone as different decisions can be made further along in the process.
- Makes communication in complex projects simpler – explaining a decision tree becomes easier, and everything is presented in a straightforward manner.
- Eliminates bias and emotions – the chart is based on facts, good data, and probabilities.
- Removes confusion- everyone knows where the project is headed, what the risks and gains are, and so on.
How to Create a Decision Tree
This process is simple, but it will be time-consuming as you will need more data as the chart grows. The basics are as follows:
- Define your main question
- Add branches to the tree
- Add the leaves to the tree
- Add more branches if necessary
- Terminate branches as needed
- Double-check to make sure everything is asked, answered, and correct
How to Make a Decision Tree in Excel
There are three options you can choose from. The more difficult ones would involve adding in Lucidchart and Smartart. The easiest one to use would be the basic shapes in lines option.
Basic Shape in Lines Method
- Launch Excel and open up a new document
- Next, input your data onto the spreadsheet
- Click the Insert tab and then choose the text box when the menu appears
- Pick the style of the text box you want to use and draw it on the spreadsheet
- Place your main question in the text box
- Add in the outcomes, answers, and other decisions you need to make
- If you need to insert a line, click on insert, then shapes under the illustrations menu. Then select a straight line and insert. Attach another shape to the end of that straight line
- Repeat this process for all other results you come up with and continue this process until you have completed your chart
A business organization is a king. Even in the beginning stages, you need to be organized so people can understand what you are proposing. A decision tree chart will help you organize all the data and show everyone what the final outcome of a plan will be.