What are they and how to make decision trees? Advice from a coach

At some point everyone has faced a problem where they have to make some important decision. But many times it is not possible to find the best answer, or the most convenient one.

“It must be taken into account that many of the decisions we make are important, from where to start a project or what tools are required, among many other things that we cannot take lightly. There are methods that can be very useful at this time, like the decision tree”commented in an interview, Edna Martínez, consultant and business coach.

What is a decision tree?

The specialist explains that “a tree of decisions is a simple tool that works to evaluate the options available and find the ideal solution to a problem. It doesn’t matter the type of problem that is being raised, since it is possible to use it in different areas, be it personal, professional or business”.

In more detail, he explained that a decision tree is a map or schematic representation that helps facilitate decision-makingya que represents the different possibilities that can exist in a scenario. It normally starts with a node and branches out “just as any natural tree or plant would”, which are other possibilities.

Three types

It should be noted that they exist three types of different nodes, among which there are:

– the probability nodes, which are represented with a circle and show the possibilities of certain results
– those of the decision, represented with a box and show a decision that will be taken
– and the terminal or final nodes, which are represented by a triangle, and show the final result of a decision route.

Likewise, it is possible that they exist alternative ramificationslines that arise from a decision, and that indicate a possible result or decision that derives from the initial decision.

An important point is that within “a decision tree diagram, all the symbols are combined with notes that detail each decision and its possible results, as well as any relevant data, with the aim of explaining each point”, said the specialist.

Advantages and disadvantages of making a decision tree

Making a decision tree can benefit you a lot. Y es que through these you can evaluate all the possible results for an election, you can better understand the risks and the consequences.

In addition, “are easy to understand, since they are not based on formulas. It is possible to answer practically all the questions regardless of whether they are simple or complex, they allow you to get rid of emotions and properly weigh the results of a decision. In addition, they do not require a lot of data to be carried out, and the best of all is that they do not require advanced training, and you save time”, said the coach.

However, there are disadvantages, among which the specialist mentioned that “realize a tree of decisions sometimes it can be complex, especially if too many decisions are added. On the other hand, it can become unstable if the data changes, it can even be risky if the possible results are not analyzed well. Therefore, I always recommend that when using a decision tree it is necessary to be very punctual, not to ramble too much, and to be very analytical“.

How to create a decision tree?

“Creating a decision tree diagram is very simple,” the counselor said, and provided some very easy steps to follow.

Initially, he must have an idea of which the making of a decision is required, and adds individual ramifications with the different decisions between which you must choose. Later, it must be added nodes of opportunities and decisions, as we indicated previously. Then, expand the diagram until you reach los endpoints.

Continue calculating the values ​​of the tree and finally evaluate the results. Once you have the expected results for each decision, determine What is the best plan of action for you based on the risk? What are you willing to take?

To make a decision tree, it is possible to draw the tree manually, or you can use a flow diagram tool to create it digitally, including, there are some applications that can help you do it very easily.

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