MATT is a decision making framework invented by Brent Huston. It is based on “three currency theory” and provides for an effective way of thinking through the potential resource constraints and impacts of a decision. It is useful for increasing the effectiveness of decision making, particularly in a leadership position of an organization, such as an entrepreneur/CEO or other high level manager.

Basically, you can use MATT to rate the various costs (amounts required) of each currency: Money – actual costs in capital Attention – mental/emotional costs Time – how much time will be required personally/organizationally

Then, for each area, rate the fourth letter: Turbulence – how much churn/change/stress do you anticipate in this currency during the project?

In the end, you might have a matrix that looks like this for a simple question of “Should we take on this project or not?”

M – low (not much capital is needed), turbulence is low for next 90 days (cash flow is stable)

A – high (we need a lot of attention to this project to get it right), turbulence is high (lots of other projects at the same time)

T – high (the project will take a lot of man hours), turbulence is medium (other high man hour projects that could impact morale)

Once you have worked through these, the decision is usually pretty clear, or at least, if you are still on the fence, you usually have a better understanding of the risks.

Some work is being done to add a more methodical mechanism to the framework, including a variety of scoring systems beyond high/medium/low. Software applications are also in consideration.

The framework was initially crafted in 2011, is currently in a revision mode, and is being taught via mentoring sessions or in small online groups. For more information, please engage with a Lizard or get in touch with Brent on Twitter (@lbhuston).

Worksheets for using the MATT framework:

PDF – click here

RTF – click here

If you have any comments or feedback on the framework, please drop me a line. Thanks! –Brent