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View Decision Process

Decision Process

From How to Make the Right Decisions
By John Arnold & Bert Tompkins

1.  Do we have to decide anything?
    a.  Rather than think every new opportunity requires a decision, first ask yourself if anything really needs to be:
      i.  Corrected that is a real problem now.
      ii.  Prevented that may become a real problem soon.
      iii.  Provided that would be a wonderful addition.
      iv.  Happen that isn’t happening now, but should be.
    b.  If not, then you don’t have to make any decision.  Just say “No, thank you” and move on.  You’ll be amazed at how many opportunities really don’t require a decision!
    c.  If you answered “Yes” to any of the above and if it’s really important to your future, then move on to step 2.

2.  What needs to be decided?  (i.e. What should be the PURPOSE of the Decision?)
Work on a ‘Decision Statement’ that starts with “Determine the best way to ….”  (you always want God’s best!)

3.  What Criteria Can Guide our Decision?  (This helps makes step 2 more objective.)
    a.  List on a piece of paper:
      What do we want to achieve regarding this decision?
      What do we want to preserve…. ?
      What do we want to avoid…. ?
    b.  Then go through your responses, combine the lists, and come up with a master list of 7- 15 criteria.  This can take time and several revisions as something stated negatively on your ‘avoid’ list may be stated positively on one of the other lists.  You’ll want to combine these into one statement that can form the basis of one of your decision-making criteria (see #4).

4.  Prioritize your Criteria.  (Making Step 3 more specific.)
    a.  Establish Absolute Criteria:  what must absolutely need to be there in order for the Purpose in Step 2 to be achieved.
    b.  The other criteria are “Desirable” but not absolute.  Rank these in order of desirability on a 10 point scale (with 10 being the ‘most desirable’ and every other desirable criteria ranked in terms of this – eg. A criteria that you feel is only half as desirable as the most desirable criteria, gets a ‘5’).

5.  Look at your Options
    a.  Just because you were likely given one option at the outset and because this started you on your ‘Decision Journey,’ doesn’t mean it’s the best or the only option.
    b.  Brainstorm all possible options.
    c.  Sift these so you have a few good ones.

6.  Which Option is Best?
    a.  Test all the options by the Absolute Criteria
      i.  Any option that doesn’t meet all the criteria must be eliminated.
      ii.  If you have more than one remaining, you can determine the best option – it’s the one that has the highest ‘score’ in terms of meeting the “Desirable Criteria.”

7.  Troubleshoot your decision
    a.  Before “pulling the trigger” ask what could go wrong with this ‘best option.’
    b.  List everything that could go wrong and rank these according to:
      i.  The probability of this going wrong
      ii.  The impact of this going wrong
Rank these as to ‘high, medium or low’
    c.        Those issues that have high probability and high impact need to be carefully addressed before moving forward with the decision.

Category:Development - Tools for Growth & Administrative Systems