Making decisions is no small feat, especially when the stakes are high. The decision maker is often pressured for time, money and resources, and has to face a plethora of unknowns. This makes it important to find a way to make the best possible decisions. One way to do this is by following a step by step process. A step by step process will help to organize relevant information in a logical and systematic manner, and increase your chances of making the right decision.
The steps involved in this symphony of a process include identification, defining, prioritizing, gathering data, and weighing the pros and cons of your choices. You should also keep in mind that making a good decision requires you to be committed to your choice and to persuade others of its merits. It is a good idea to identify your personal biases, and to be aware of the other decision makers in your organization. Taking the time to get a better handle on your own personal values can pay off in the long run.
Fortunately, there are a number of tools and techniques that can be utilized to achieve these goals. One such tool is the bounded rationality model of decision making. As its name suggests, the model focuses on limiting the range of options to only those that meet the minimum criteria, and then selecting the best of the bunch. Ideally, the bounded rationality model should be applied to the most important decisions.
Other useful decision making tools and techniques include a step by step process, the ability to identify your own biases, and the ability to persuade others of the merits of your chosen course of action. Despite these tools and techniques, a lack of adequate information can be a huge roadblock to achieving the desired results. If the right information is unavailable, the decision maker will be left to flounder. Thus, the most useful apropos of all is to take the time to gather the pertinent information needed for a successful decision. Once this is done, you will have a much more robust foundation upon which to build your best ideas.
Another useful decision-making tool is a comprehensive review of the vested interests involved. Often, vested interests are not overtly expressed, but can be an important blockade to effective decision making. In such cases, it can be helpful to engage someone outside of the group to re-examine the facts in order to reveal the hidden truths. Finally, you should use the bounded rationality model of decision-making as a guide to a more effective method of addressing your vested interests.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the tiniest piece of data can be the most significant factor in a successful decision. That being said, you may be tempted to over-rely on the one piece of information that matters most to you. To avoid this, it is important to be able to see the big picture and to be able to distinguish between the tiniest of details and the largest of concerns.