18+ Free Decision Tree Templates (Excel / Word / PDF / PPT)

decision tree template excel

A decision tree template helps you in making the right decision. Sometimes making decisions on certain matters become complicated. Also, when there is more than one solution available then reaching a good decision can be difficult. Here decision tree is the best way of achieving this scared end. However, you can also use a decision tree template to achieve the right outcome.

What is a decision tree?

A decision tree is a flowchart used to make all possible decisions and the outcomes of those decisions. Every branch shows a choice that’s available while making a decision. It is driven by cause and effect. When an outcome leads to another course of action, you can extend a branch, and then extend that branch, and so on.

Basic elements of a decision tree:

The decision tree has three basic elements;

Root Node:

It is the very first node that indicates the ultimate objective or decision that you need to be made. It is present on the top of the whole structure. Moreover, from this node, all other elements come from. You have to state the root node carefully because it will affect the type of direction that the other elements of the tree will take.

Branch node:

Just like the branches of tree stems originate from the roots, in the same way, the branch node comes from the root node of a decision tree. As its name implies, this node indicates the certain actions that you have to take to come up with a solution. You can use different arrows to indicate these branches.

Leaf node:

As branches of trees have leaves, this node represents the possible results for each action you take. However, there are two types of leaf nodes to use;

  • To represent unknown outcomes, use circle nodes.
  • To represent that there is a need to make more decisions, use square nodes.
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Creating a decision tree template:

You can download decision tree templates from bestcollections.org but if you want to make one yourself then here are some steps for your guidance;

  1. At first, you have to define a question.
  2. Next, insert the branches of the tree. You can also add or terminate some branches if needed.
  3. After inserting branches, add the leaves of the tree.
  4. When you have made it, check it thoroughly. You should also check the 15+ Best Family Tree Template.

Creating a decision tree in MS Word:

You can easily make a decision tree in MS Word. Let us discuss how you can create it;


Firstly, open a new file in MS Word.


After opening a new file, click on the Insert Tab, then Illustration, and then SmartArt Graphics.


From the hierarchy template that is according to your needs, select your desired SmartArt Graphic.


Next to the SmartArt Graphic, enter your decision in the editing box.


Until you have finished your template, adding your thorough information and elements.

Creating a decision tree in MS Excel:

You can create a decision tree in MS Excel in two different ways;

Use basic shapes in lines:

  1. At first, open a new file in MS Excel and enter your data into the spreadsheet
  2. Go to the Insert Tab and from the Text Section select the text box. You can easily draw a text box by using your cursor.
  3. After that, there comes the most important part of your tree i.e. entering the main question in the text box.
  4. The next step is to draw the outcomes or answers to your main question. It’s up to you how many answers or outcomes you can draw for your main decision.
  5. If you want to draw a line, go to the Insert Tab, from the Illustrations select the shapes. Now, you can create a straight line. You should attach an oval or box for your first outcome after inserting a straight line. Similarly, keep adding the ovals or boxes for other outcomes.
  6. Until you have completed your decision tree, continue using the connectors to draw outcomes.

Use SmartArt Graphics:

  1. Also, the first step of this method is to open a new file in MS Excel.
  2. Go to the Insert Tab and from the Illustrations section select the SmartArt Graphics.
  3. After that, select the horizontal hierarchy from the Hierarchy tab. When you click ‘OK’ then the Horizontal Hierarchy Graphic will open.
  4. Now it’s time to start editing your tree. Inside the decision box, click the placeholder and enter your content. You can also edit your content by using the editor box next to the SmartArt Graphic. You may also see 20+ Free Obituary Templates & Samples.

Why should you use a decision tree template?

Here are some reasons for using a decision tree template;

  • You can easily understand the decisions by using a decision tree template. It helps you to simplify complex problems. Also, it lets the people know how you came to a conclusion.
  • With the help of decision trees, without investing actual resources, you can visualize outcomes and play through scenarios.
  • Decision trees do not require adequate time like algorithms. This is because they need less coding, analysis, or even dummy variables.

To clarify thinking, how to use a decision tree?

Here are some tips for using a decision tree to clarify thinking;

Start by explaining your question or problem area

You can use a decision tree template for multiple problem areas. First, write down several problem statements on sticky notes and then group them and arrange them in an organized way. Invite various stakeholders to vote on the most relevant decision that has to be analyzed first.

With a central node of your decision tree, start and create logic branches

For every available decision, specify the options. To do so, add simple lines that branch out to display the possible outcomes. When you extend these outcomes to a tree-like structure, they assist you in assessing the outcomes of each decision and better weighing your options.

On your decision tree, include context for every decision point

To every node, attach reference notes, external data, and much more in order to make more accurate assumptions. This way, you can also make more predictable outcomes.

Organize in other decision-making frameworks

For designing a more complete course of action, extend the output of your decision tree. Use RICE frameworks to evaluate the impact of a decision and use a priority grid to prioritize tasks. Make action plans all on the same canvas.

For more feedback, share it with stakeholders

To get feedback for your decision, invite your management/clients/agency or consultants securely. Detailed discussions are important to make sure you arrive at the best decision together.

As a living reference, publish and maintain the decision tree

To clarify thinking and improve strategic thinking, make your decision tree easily accessible to the entire organization.

Benefits of creating a decision tree:

The benefits of creating a decision tree are as follows;

  • These trees are non-linear and provide more flexibility for planning, exploring, and making predictions for possible results to decisions either they happened or not.
  • It visually displays cause-and-effect relationships. Furthermore, it gives you simpler and effective communication of complex processes. They are easy to understand even to those who never made them before because they are straightforward.
  • You can also consult others during making important decisions but rely too much on other’s opinions may put your final decision at risk. While the decision trees allow you to have a balanced look at the decision-making process. In addition, they enable you to calculate both rewards and risks. In short, they pay attention to data and probability instead of biases and emotions.
  • They provide you a predictive framework through which you can ultimately identify the course of action that provides you the highest possibility of succeeding. Hence, it prevents your decisions against unacceptable outcomes and risks.
  • With the help of a decision tree, you can easily analyze the problem in a way that the traditional approach can’t match. This wholesome analysis provides you more effective and easier interpretation.
  • This decision tree is also helpful for the problems that require a quantifiable framework. It is an effective way for tackling it.


In conclusion, a decision tree is a tree-like model of the decisions to be made. It consists of three basic parts the first one is the root node that represents the decisions to be made, the second one is the branch node that indicates the possible actions, and the third or last one is the leaf nodes that display the possible outcomes. Moreover, you can also use decision tree templates as they provide you raw frameworks.

Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is an effective decision tree?

An effective decision tree makes it easier to visualize and evaluate the process of decision-making. You can see the possible consequences of each decision by laying out the problems clearly.

Who can use decision trees?

Anyone looking to solve problems or evaluate options can use decision trees. When you have two or more options then use the decision tree template. It helps you to visualize the results and plan for scenarios better.

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