Knowing how to make a decision can influence the quality of the outcome of the decision as well as improving the timeliness of the decision. A rigorous methodology for choosing a course of action provides confidence and justification for a particular course of action while reducing the risk of making poor decisions.
The outline below is a proven process for analyzing a decision. You will probably not find anything unique to this list, but by following a more structured process, you should develop a higher level of confidence in your decision process.
Objective: Choose A Course of Action
1. Decision Statement – Write a brief statement of the decision to be made. This statement should address the following points:
- Purpose of the decision
- Level of importance
2. Establish Objectives – What are the objects from this decision or course of action and what is required to implement the course of action.
3. Classify Objectives – For each objective desired, rate them as a must or want, identifying the constraints on the must have issues and weighting the importance of the wants.
- Musts: Limit
- Wants: Weight
4. Generate Alternatives – Identify the alternatives to this decision or course of action
5. Compare & Choose – Compare the options and chose based on the following criteria.
- Musts: GO / NOGO
- Wants: Relative Fit
- Adverse Consequences: Minimum Threat
Questions to ask about your decision or course of action:
- What is the reason for making this decision?
- What objectives should you consider?
- What are other alternatives?
- What could go wrong with this alternative?