5.1.4 How to use a decision-making process?

We will start by defining the decison-making process, then we will describe some specific classes of decision problems together with description of available tools.

The Decision-making process

Main concern in making a decision is to establish who are the decision-maker(s) and stakeholders in the process. Identifying the decision-maker(s) early in the process reduces disagreement about problem definition, requirements, goals, and criteria.
When appropriate, stakeholders should also be consulted. By acquiring their input during the early steps of the decision process, we can get useful feedback before a decision is made.
 
Figure 1 shows the steps in the decision-making process. 1
The process flows from top to bottom, but may return to a previous step from any point in the process when new information is discovered. It is up to the decision team’s job to make sure that all steps of the process are adequately performed.
In more complex decision, you should ask skilled and experienced analysts / facilitators to help assist with all stages of the decision process. Expert facilitation can help assure that all the steps are properly performed and documented. Their experience and expertise will help provide clearness to the decision making process and help avoid misunderstandings that often lead to questions about the validity of the analyses, which can slow down the progress.

(Please click on ech step for more information)

 

Please stop and think:
What decision have you recently faced in your company? Try to compare your decision-making process in accordance with Figure 1. Did you find any differences between your usual way of decision-making and this formalized process?

 


1 This part has been taken from Baker D. et al., Guidebook to Decision-Making Methods, pages 2 - 5