A Systematic Approach to Decision Making

1776 Words Aug 26th, 2011 8 Pages
A Systematic Approach to Decision Making
A logical and systematic decision-making process helps you address the critical elements that result in a good decision. By taking an organized approach, you're less likely to miss important factors, and you can build on the approach to make your decisions better and better.
There are six steps to making an effective decision:
1. Create a constructive environment.
2. Generate good alternatives.
3. Explore these alternatives.
4. Choose the best alternative.
5. Check your decision.
6. Communicate your decision, and take action.
Here are the steps in detail:
Step 1: Create a constructive environment
To create a constructive environment for successful decision making, make sure you do the following:
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• If you have very few options, or an unsatisfactory alternative, use a Concept Fan to take a step back from the problem, and approach it from a wider perspective. This often helps when the people involved in the decision are too close to the problem.
• Appreciative Inquiry forces you to look at the problem based on what's ‘going right,' rather than what's ‘going wrong.'
• Organizing Ideas
This is especially helpful when you have a large number of ideas. Sometimes separate ideas can be combined into one comprehensive alternative.
• Use Affinity Diagrams to organize ideas into common themes and groupings.
Step 3: Explore the Alternatives
When you're satisfied that you have a good selection of realistic alternatives, then you'll need to evaluate the feasibility, risks, and implications of each choice. Here, we discuss some of the most popular and effective analytical tools.
• Risk
In decision making, there's usually some degree of uncertainty, which inevitably leads to risk. By evaluating the risk involved with various options, you can determine whether the risk is manageable.
• Risk Analysis helps you look at risks objectively. It uses a structured approach for assessing threats, and for evaluating the probability of events occurring - and what they might cost to manage.
• Implications
Another way to look at your options is by considering the potential