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Diamond Ranking for Decision Making

Diamond Ranking for Decision Making


When making decisions, you often need to choose between a series of options. When told to rank options, people sometimes want to give the same rank to multiple options. In some cases, it might be more important to learn about the most and least preferred options rather than to spend time judging between the middle choices.

A technique known as Diamond Ranking can help you focus on the most and least preferred options.


Use the Diamond Ranking technique to make decisions.

What You Need

  • Blank cards


  • Get the delegates to work on a given problem and generate options using a technique that is suitable for your training needs.
  • Ask the delegates to rank the options based on the pattern of a diamonds shown above (left pattern).
  • If there are the right number of options (say 9), this is straightforward. Otherwise, delegates may need to cluster options in a certain level more than others. This is fine. What matters most is what options end up at the two points and the decision process they go through to decide that.
  • If there are many options, you can expand the diamond to accommodate all options. In any case, keep only 5 main levels between the best and worst choices. This is because you want to minimise decision making on middle choices and instead focus on what ends up on extreme ends. For example, you can aim for the pattern shown on the right in the image above.
  • Allocate 15 minutes.
  • Follow with a discussion.


Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes

Activity: 15 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes


What do you think of the results? Do you think the process was suitable for the problem under consideration? When would you consider using this technique?