Jiri Knesl

Posted on 1st June 2020

PAPRIKA: The Art of Decision Making

news-paper Management | News |

In a manager role, I see that a huge part of the job is problem solving and decision making. When you run into a tricky situation, where you aren’t clear how to weigh various criteria on a numeric scale, or when these criteria aren’t linear, the usual tools like weighted matrix don’t work for you.

In such situations, you can be successful with PAPRIKA.

  • PAPRIKA stands for Potentially all pairwise rankings of all possible alternatives
  • PAPRIKA is an algorithm that was used in patient treatment, marketing & other (incl. clinical) research prioritisation, monetary policies and plenty of other fields.

It has a couple of advantages:

  • Online,
  • Easy to use, 
  • Supports multiple people making a decision,
  • With a couple of data items, you can make decisions with a much better understanding of what people’s values are.
Photo of team

How to use it

You need a couple of things:

  1. Criteria – attributes that are important and that might affect your decisions (price, quality, time to get delivered)
  2. Alternatives – potential solutions with given criteria values (Product A, Person B, Service C, Situation D, etc.). For each alternative, you provide a set of criteria
  3. Trade offs – here, you compare pairs of criteria and decide which option is better or whether they are the same, impossible or to skip a given decision.

Let’s say we want to decide what’s the best way to run ads for a new product.

Criteria are

  • Targeting accuracy (percentage of the ad audience relevant to the product).
  • Price per relevant person (0-10 USD).
  • Differentiation from competing products (the same, slightly different, differentiated).
  • Experience with given marketing channel/activity (no experience, some experience, the most experience).

You consider 4 alternatives

  • PPC – targeting 50 %, price per relevant person $10, differentiation the same, experience no experience
  • Direct mailing – targeting 60 %, price per relevant person $5, differentiation differentiated, experience no experience
  • Conference & events in person – targeting: 45 %, price per relevant person $10, differentiation slightly different, the most experience
  • Online conferences – targeting 60 %, price per relevant person $5, differentiation slightly different, some experience
Question no 1 summary

We will put in tradeoffs which will help to decide what does matter and what doesn’t.

Question results
Ranked alternatives

Now, from the decision making software, it says, that we should prioritise conferences and meetings in person, then online conferences, etc.

Now, we have made a decision using the PAPRIKA method and 1000minds tool.

Probably the best and only tool for PAPRIKA is 1000minds.


More info here: