Friday, March 19, 2010

Making Effective Decisions


Knowing why, who and what makes your decision making easier

Decision making is often full of confusion when it comes to who, what, where and when it takes place.  To be effective at making decisions there are a few things to keep in mind.  It’s important to listen to your intuition however, base your decisions on the facts and available data whenever possible.  Gathering the facts shouldn’t unnecessarily delay or hindering your progress.  Consider all your decision making criteria and if needed, make a tentative or pilot decision before full commitment.  Once you’ve reached a decision, support it whole heartedly until new critical information becomes available which could alter the conditions.

With decision making think about; why the decision is important, who will make the decision, and what criteria will they use?  Below is a checklist to help keep focus on the vital elements of a significant decision.

Decision Making Checklist

  • Determine the decision or goal to be achieved.

  • Establish the criteria to be considered.

  • Generate then narrow alternative solutions.

  • Evaluate the alternative solutions against your criteria.

  • Select the top ranking solutions.

  • Assess the feasibility, risks and gains of each solution.

  • Make a tentative decision and explore intended and unintended consequences.

  • Make the decision and develop an action plan.

Decision Making Options (Who Decides)

  • You decide with no input from others.

  • You decide with input from others.

  • You let a group decide with less than half the group making the decision.

  • You let a group decide with more than half the group making the decision.

  • You let a group decide with consensus or unanimity.

Factors or Criteria to test Decisions

  • The Quality Impact of the decision.

  • The Acceptability of the decision by stakeholders.

  • The Time to make and implement the decision.

  • The Capability to implement the decision.

  • The Level of Accountability for the results of the decision.

Some decisions are not particularly significant so observe the 80/20 rule and ensure you put time and resources around the things that will have the greatest impact.

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