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Posted on Wednesday March 21, 2018

Decision-making

What's the process for making a decision? 

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There's a bit more to making a decision than might first meet the eye. 

First, we need to decide what to decide. That's about recognising  and defining a problem or opportunity.

Next, we look at the available outcomes or courses of action. If appropriate, we document them. 

Then, we gather information about the outcomes and evaluate them.

We talk to each other. Experts within the organisation and/or stakeholders need to be consulted or involved depending on the potential implications. 

Finally, we make our informed decision based on the information gathered.

What if we don't have enough information?

Sometimes the information available to us is incomplete, insufficient or only partly accurate. We also have to acknowledge that it's not possible to consider all alternatives or all consequences.

With that in mind, we understand that we cannot always wait for the perfect solution. Instead, we make decisions so that we can get on with solving the problem. Sometimes that means we make smaller, faster decisions, instead of larger, slower ones.

Who can make decisions?

Of course, this depends on what it is you're making a decision about. 

Regular and operational decisions are made by the person responsible for the issue. We call those people 'owners' (manager, product owner, process owner).

Operational decisions are made by the owner (manager, product owner, process owner) after involving relevant stakeholders.

The more strategic a decision is going to be, the more it needs to be escalated to the next hierarchical level (from process owner to manager to director).

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