Personal Experience with Decision Making Models

Topics: Root cause analysis, Decision making, Cognition Pages: 2 (675 words) Published: November 14, 2010
As the end of the second week in MMPBL/500 comes to a close, we have been asked to reflect upon our experience with decision-making methods. Many students in the class, myself included, have commented on how the methods can be used in both personal and professional life. I have included examples of both in my paper.

Personal Experience with Decision-Making Models
According to Wikipedia, decision-making is “the mental processes (cognitive process) resulting in the selection of a course of action among several alternatives” (Wikipedia - Decision Making, 2010). Many models exist that one can use to determine the final solution, but they all follow a set of rules to come to the conclusion. Like the scientific method used by scientists, a good decision making model is a tool that follows a methodology that can be used for all areas, including our personal lives (Edmund, n.d.). Coming from the scientific field, I am very comfortable with plugging variables into a formula to develop an answer.

While at NASA, I dealt with two types of decision-making models; one was Fault Tree Analysis, the other was using predefined rules. Fault Tree Analysis is a specific type of root cause analysis. Root cause analysis is a method used to find the fundamental problem when there is an issue of non-conformance or malfunction and when done properly will identify the actions required to eliminate the problem (Root Cause Analysis, n.d.). Fault Tree Analysis can easily be described as asking why the problem occurred then asking why that occurred and so on until the final answer is found. What complicates matters is that FTA often introduces AND OR scenarios into the equation. Another means of decision-making at NASA was using predefined rules. The flight control team rarely made on-the-spot decisions because the organization realizes that quick decisions usually are not thought through and could have potentially dangerous long-term effects. Procedures and...
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