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What is Decision Tree Analysis?

A decision tree is a decision-making aid that compares options by projecting what the expected outcome of each choice might be. Teams that use a decision tree often draft the tree together in a meeting on a whiteboard. First, they add a circle or box for each option under consideration. Then, they add "branches" from the first option that show the results they expect if they choose that option. Then, they add a matching set of branches coming from the next option with the results they expect there. The team continues building out the tree with all the outcomes they foresee until they feel they've fully explored the options.

This first-draft decision tree can then be used to make the decision or completed with more detail and analysis after the meeting.

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Related Glossary Terms
Criteria Matrix

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