CADDManager on January 5th, 2012
This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Decision Making

Managers and line workers are called on to make decisions every day. Some are small and can be processed quickly and others are major efforts. Learning to make good decisions takes time and usually takes a lot of bad decisions into account.

How do you work through the decisions you make? Do you have a process or method that seems to work for you?

People differ in their approaches to making decisions and there is not one single effective tool that works every time. Sifting through information, defining boundaries, reflecting on issues and outlining a choice changes with every situation you may be involved in. That being said, there are some common steps in moving from undecided to decided.

Making decisions have the following general commonality be structured in the following steps

  • Define the problem
  • Gather information
  • Identify limiting factors and constraints
  • Develop potential solutions
  • Analyze the alternatives
  • Making the Call (Selecting the best option)
  • Implement the decision

Each one of these steps can allow mistakes and misjudgments to creep in. If you add establishing a control and evaluation system then you have even more areas that may derail your efforts.

Making good decisions is a mix of art and science. The artistic side takes into account political climate, personalities, entrenched camps, bullies, overbearing bosses and much more. The science of it includes the gathering and processing of data, drawing conclusions, weeding out invalid perspectives and getting the raw information packaged for review.

Mixing these arts and sciences takes skill. Knowing which side is given more weight takes some thinking. Does strong data override political climate? Does a strong willed boss make your research irrelevant? When do you push forward even when others are pushing back?

We will discuss these issues and more in the coming posts.

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