Decision Analysis

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This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Decison & Problem Analysis

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.

  • Results
  • Resources

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

  • Number
  • Range

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:

  1. What is the reason for making this decision?
  2. What objectives should you consider?
  3. What are other alternatives?
  4. What could go wrong with this alternative?
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