At one point or the other, we are all faced with difficult
decisions that require taking immediate action. Sometimes, we are
even convinced that we know the best solution to a problem, so we
make quick decisions without considering all the alternatives at
hand. However, this can be avoided by simply creating a pros and
cons list, which is an effective decision-making tool that allows
you to look at different angles to a situation before taking
action. While "PROS" are arguments in support of a decision,
"CONS" are arguments against the decision. Creating this type of
list can help groups and decision-makers make informed decisions.
Create Pros and Cons list
There are so many benefits of using a "Pros and Cons" list.
Creating a "Pros and Cons" list is an effective way of reducing
errors and uncertainty, especially when there is more than one
viable option to follow.
By listing the merit and demerits of each choice, the
decision-making process becomes objective and less influenced by
In addition, weighing each argument against criteria also
provide evidence to support a choice.
Pros and Cons list also make group members become aware of the
consequences of an action, thereby the opportunity to consider
each other's perspective before making a decision.
Start by putting down your decision on a sheet of paper and
dividing them vertically into the pros and cons.
List the positive consequence of each decision on the pros
column and the negative on the cons column.
At this stage, you might know whether to implement the decision
or not. However, if it isn't clear yet, simply consider the
point you have put down and assign a value to each one.
For example, a score of +5 may be strongly favorable, while -1
may be unfavorable. Try to be as objective as possible.
Add the scores on each column and subtract the total cons from
the total pros.
A positive score shows that the decision will yield a positive
result, while a negative score indicates that you shouldn't go
ahead with the decision.
Always use your common sense, if you feel the solution isn't
right, check and see the factors you must have missed out.
Finally, the pros and cons list is a simple decision-making tool
that requires no special skill or technique to create. However,
for more strategic decision making, it is vital to gather ideas
from group representatives who also have a different perspective
on the subject of debate. In addition, when trying to compare two
or more decisions, it is very important that you complete a pros
and cons template for each option before comparing the outcomes.
If your team members are located in remote locations, it is
advisable that you use collaboration tools to get their thoughts