A Systematic Approach to Decision Making

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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: •Establish the objective - Define what you want to achieve. •Agree on the process - Know how the final decision will be made, including whether it will be an individual or a team-based decision. The Vroom-Yetton-Jago Model is a great tool for determining the most appropriate way of making the decision. •Involve the right people - Stakeholder Analysis is important in making an effective decision, and you'll want to ensure that you've consulted stakeholders appropriately even if you're making an individual decision. Where a group process is appropriate, the decision-making group - typically a team of five to seven people - should have a good representation of stakeholders. •Allow opinions to be heard - Encourage participants to contribute to the discussions, debates, and analysis without any fear of rejection from the group. This is one of the best ways to avoid groupthink. The Stepladder Technique is a useful method for gradually introducing more and more people to the group discussion, and making sure everyone is heard. Also, recognize that the objective is to make the best decision under the circumstances: it's not a game in which people are competing to have their own preferred alternatives adopted. •Make sure you're asking the right question - Ask yourself whether this is really the true issue. The 5 Whys technique is a classic tool that helps you identify the real underlying problem that you face. •Use creativity tools from the start - The basis of creativity is thinking from a different perspective. Do this when you first set out the problem, and then continue it while generating alternatives. Our article Generating New Ideas will help you create new connections in your mind, break old thought patterns, and consider new perspectives. Step 2: Generate Good Alternatives

This step is still critical to making an effective decision. The more good options you consider, the more comprehensive your final decision will be. When you generate alternatives, you force yourself to dig deeper, and look at the problem from different angles. If you use the mindset ‘there must be other solutions out there,' you're more likely to make the best decision possible. If you don't have reasonable alternatives, then there's really not much of a decision to make! Here's a summary of some of the key tools and techniques to help you and your team develop good alternatives. •Generating Ideas

Brainstorming is probably the most popular method of generating ideas. •Another approach, Reverse Brainstorming, works similarly. However, it starts by asking people to brainstorm how to achieve the opposite outcome from the one wanted, and then reversing these actions. •The Charette Procedure is a systematic process for gathering and developing ideas from very many stakeholders. •Use the Crawford Slip Writing Technique to generate ideas from a large number of people. This is an extremely effective way to make sure that everyone's ideas are heard and given equal weight, irrespective of the person's position or power within the organization. •Considering Different Perspectives

The Reframing Matrix uses 4 Ps (product, planning, potential, and people) as the basis for gathering different...
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