Decision making is the process of creating choices by identifying a decision, gathering information, and assessing alternative resolutions. Using a step-by-step decision-making process can help managers make more deliberate, thoughtful decisions by organising relevant information while defining alternatives.
According to some studies, decision making is important to achieve organisational goals/objectives within a given time and budget. It searches the best alternative, utilises the resources properly and satisfies employees at the workplace. As a result, organisational goals or objectives can be achieved as per the desired result.
Given that the essence of decision-making is important, now is the right time to make decision-making out of the realm of purely individual and idiosyncratic, said Thomas Davenport, a research fellow at the MIT Initiative and senior adviser at Deloitte Analytics. Organisations must help managers employ better decision-making processes. Better processes might not guarantee better decisions, but they can make them more likely. Here are some approaches that could increase the chances of effective decision-making.
As a manager, there will be times when you need to make a decision. Try to clearly define the nature of the decision you must make. This first step is very important.
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Collect some pertinent information before making a decision, such as what information is needed, the best sources of information, and how to get it. This step involves both internal and external “work.” Some information is internal – for instance, you’ll seek it through a process of self-assessment. Meanwhile, other information is external – you’ll find it online, in books, from other people, and from other sources.
As you collect information, you will probably identify several possible paths of action or alternatives. You can also use your imagination and additional information to construct new alternatives. In this step, you should list all possible and desirable alternatives.
Draw on your information and emotions to imagine what it would be like if you carried out each of the alternatives to the end. Evaluate whether the need identified in point 1 would be met or resolved through the use of each alternative. As you go through this difficult internal process, you’ll begin to favour certain alternatives, including those that seem to have a higher potential for reaching your goal. Finally, place the alternatives in priority order, based upon your own value system.
Once you have weighed all the evidence, you are ready to select the alternative that seems to be the best one. You can even choose a combination of alternatives. Your choice in this step might very likely be the same or similar to the alternative you placed at the top of your list at the end of point 4.
You’re now ready to take some positive action by starting to implement the alternative you have chosen in point 5.
In this final step, consider the results of your choices and evaluate whether or not it has resolved the need you identified in point 1. If the choices have not met the identified need, you might want to repeat certain steps of the process to make a new choice.
Remember, decision-making is a process that should be evaluated throughout the way. You shouldn’t expect a good result if your decision-making process is a mess.
Read also: How to Help Employees Who Hate Making Benefit Decisions