Decision Tree Template
Explore, plan and predict several possible outcomes to your decisions.
About the Decision Tree template
What is a decision tree?
A decision tree is a flowchart that is used to walk through all possible decisions that can be made and the outcome of those decisions. Each “branch” represents a choice that’s available to you while making a decision. Decision trees are infinitely scalable and driven by cause and effect. You can extend a branch when an outcome leads to another course of action, and then extend that branch, and so on.
A decision tree template can be useful in assessing options and their outcomes before committing to a solution, so that you can ultimately make the best decision with the least downside and the most upside. It provides a stylized world in which you can play out a series of decisions and see where they lead, rather than committing real-world time and resources unnecessarily.
Why are Decision Trees important?
The Decision Tree maker is a powerful tool. You and your team can use it to predict or to describe. In either case, Decision Trees allow you to visualize outcomes and play through scenarios without investing actual resources. Startups and smaller companies might find Decision Trees especially valuable, since resources are tight and it can be difficult to get financial buy-in. But enterprise and larger companies can use Decision Trees to test drive options before presenting them to a broader team or a busy stakeholder.
Use decision trees to figure out whether a new product is viable, a new market opportunity has opened up, or to examine possible investments. The options are endless, and the tool is malleable. The only limit is your creativity.
How to create a decision tree in 6 steps
Step 1: Define your question.
Begin with a central theme or question you are trying to answer. For example, which company should we partner with?
Step 2: Add branches.
Imagine a few possible choices you could make. In this example, you could partner with Company A or Company B. For each of these alternatives, draw a line that begins at a node and ends at a leaf node.
Step 3: Add leaves.
Add a leaf node at the end of each branch. Label the leaf nodes with a question or choice. At each step, think about your alternatives as “if then” statements.
If you partner with Company A, then what will happen? One option is that you might increase your total number of customers, because people have strong positive feelings toward Company A. The other option is that you might decrease your total number of customers, because people have strong negative feelings toward Company A.
Repeat this exercise for Company B. Again, conceptualize your leaves and nodes as “if then” statements.
Step 4: Add more branches.
Keep building your Decision Tree using branches and leaves. Be careful to label your branches and leaves to stay on track.
Step 5: Terminate branches.
Make sure you’ve answered every question in the tree. That means you should have worked through all “if then” statements you’ve encountered. Complete your branches.
Step 6: Double check with stakeholders.
When the tree is finished, take this opportunity to make sure all your stakeholders are on board. Remember, the Decision Tree is designed to emulate real-world ramifications of your decisions. Use the tree to talk through every possible choice, figure out alternatives, and build out additional branches as needed.
Decision Tree Examples
Decision trees should begin with a central theme or question you are trying to answer. Next, using a linking word and a line, outline the two options for this decision. Then, show the possible outcome with another box if that decision were to be made. Continue this branching structure until you reach what the final outcome would be of the series of decisions to address the initial problem.
Managing stakeholders is integral to completing a project on time and meeting expectations, so here’s how to use a stakeholder analysis to help. A stakeholder analysis empowers you to meet expectations and complete projects on time by identifying individuals, groups, and organizations with a vested interest in a program or process. In a typical stakeholder analysis, you’ll prioritize stakeholders based on their influence on a project and seek to understand how best to interface with them throughout the course of the project.
Bull's Eye Diagram
When you’re a growing organization, every decision can feel like it has make-or-break consequences—which can lead to decision paralysis, an inability to prioritize, inefficient meetings, and even low morale. If that sounds like you, put a Bull’s Eye Diagram to work. True to its name, a Bull’s Eye Diagram uses a model of concentric circles to help companies establish priorities, make critical decisions, or discuss how to remove or overcome obstacles.
Value Stream Map
Value stream mapping is a method of depicting the flow of materials and information necessary to bring a product to a customer. It’s simple: you use a series of symbols to showcase work streams and information flows, and another symbol to indicate whether those items add value. You can thereby figure out which items are not adding value from the customer’s standpoint. Value stream mapping results in better communication and collaboration. Use the value stream map template to understand knowledge gaps in handoffs between team members and across teams. An effective value stream map helps identify waste, foster collaboration, and streamline production.
Wardley Mapping Canvas
A Wardley Map represents the landscape in which a business operates. It's made up of a value chain (the activities required to fulfill user needs) graphed against the evolution of individual activities over time. You place components with value on the y-axis and commodity on the x-axis. Use a Wardley Map to understand shared assumptions about your environment and discover what strategic options are available. Easily communicate your understanding of the landscape to your team, new hires, and stakeholders.
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