Decision-Making Technique: T-Charts

The T-Chart technique is a systematic demonstration of the varying factors that need to be considered during the decision-making process. This technique can be used to ensure that both the positive and negative factors linked to a decision are tabled in the form of a list and can be used when weighing the pros and cons of a decision. It is used to examine two facets of an object, event or concept for comparison, for example, what are the pros and cons of replacing the existing system?

The T-chart can assist the analyst in the following ways:

  1. It aids in the identification and analysis of the role and significance of the different factors that influence a decision
  2. It aids in the selection of the most ideal course of action based on the information available to the decision maker
  3. It offers a structured, orderly, and visible analysis of the issues considered in a decision to allow deliberation in an attentive and intelligible manner
  4. It aids highlighting the probable significances of making diverse choices and can assist the business in selecting the right option.

The T-chart technique can be applied to a variety of issues but its effectiveness depends on the difficulty of the situation and the amount of information that has been collected.

How it works

The simplicity and efficiency of the T-chart ensures that all the participants remain attentive and that they miss nothing during workshops or focus group sessions. When analysing pros and cons, the analyst can divide a large board into a "T” thereby differentiating the points against or in favour of the central idea. Participants can therefore contribute their opinions based on the observations they make which are indicated on either side of the “T” and labelled pros and cons. The T-chart can be used for assessing available options.

What has been your experience with the T-chart?

The diagram below is an illustration of a T-chart used in the decision-making process:

Picture Attribution: “Letter T Boy” by Prawny/