Decision Making Process - Getting It Right First Time

decision making process

The decision making process analyzes the problem on hand and proffers the right solution considering all available alternatives.

Why do you need a decision making process? Why don't you just get right down to it and make decisions? What's all this talk about a process?

A process is usually a calculated established procedure. And when done right, the use of a process establishes a standard that ensures that what is being done meets the set standard.

In the case of decision making, following a defined process ensures that you minimise opportunities for mistakes.

It ensures you do it right first time and all the time. There are no room for unwarranted mistakes in business. And some mistakes can have a devastating effect on the business.

Consequently, it's important to follow a well defined process in making organizational decisions.

The Decision Making Process

The decision making process is outlined below.

1. Define the problem

Clearly define the problem. It is said that a "problem clearly defined is half solved". There is some truth in that statement.

When defining the problem, be sure to capture all the key factors that will help you and your team make informed decision on the subject. If the problem is not correctly defined, the solution will not correctly address the problem.

2. Define the objectives of your organization as it applies to the problem on ground

Every organization has set objectives. What is your organization's set objectives? What do your organization seek to accomplish?

Be clear about the objectives because this will inevitably affect your choice of solution.

3. Define the criteria you will employ to select the best option

Selecting one alternative over another should not be a game of fancy. It should be based on facts and how well the alternative in question adequately address the problem on hand.

Therefore, establishing the criteria for that assessment is serious business. The team members must think through this stage carefully because the criteria agreed upon will affect the quality of the final decision.

4. Search for alternatives . . . possible solutions to the problem.

Do a brainstorm to come up with possible routes to solve the defined problem. Do not reject any ideas proposed during the brainstorm stage. Let members explode with ideas. Later you will analyze these ideas using the agreed criteria.

Write down all ideas proposed during the brainstorming session. No idea is too stupid.

5. Analyze the alternatives using the defined criteria

As you analyze the proposed alternatives, be sure to evaluate the risks associated with each alternative. Failure to evaluate the risks may make a fair option look terrific.

6. Select the optimum solution based on the defined criteria

7. Review the preferred alternative periodically to match expectations to results. Adjust as necessary.

The decision making process is pretty straightforward, right?

But failure to follow this standard procedure can lead to disaster.

Now you know. You certainly won't make that mistake, right?

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