- Decision making process Define and clarify the issue - does it warrant action? If so, now? Is the matter urgent, important or both. See the Pareto Principle.
- Gather all the facts and understand their causes.
- Think about or brainstorm possible options and solutions. (See brainstorming process)
- Consider and compare the pros and cons of each option - consult if necessary - it probably will be.
- Select the best option - avoid vagueness or 'foot in both camps' compromise.
- Explain your decision to those involved and affected, and follow up to ensure proper and effective implementation.
Problem solving and decision-making are important skills for business and life. Problem-solving often involves decision-making, and decision-making is especially important for management and leadership. There are processes and techniques to improve decision-making and the quality of decisions. Decision-making is more natural to certain personalities, so these people should focus more on improving the quality of their decisions. People that are less natural decision-makers are often able to make quality assessments, but then need to be more decisive in acting upon the assessments made. Problem-solving and decision-making are closely linked, and each requires creativity in identifying and developing options, for which the brainstorming technique is particularly useful. See also the free SWOT analysis template and examples, and PEST analysis template, which help decision-making and problem-solving. SWOT analysis helps assess the strength of a company, a business proposition or idea; PEST analysis helps to assess the potential and suitability of a market. Good decision-making requires a mixture of skills: creative development and identification of options, clarity of judgement, firmness of decision, and effective implementation. For group problem-solving and decision-making, or when a consensus is required, workshops help, within which you can incorporate these tools and process as appropriate. Here are some useful methods for effective decision-making and problem-solving: First a simple step-by-step process for effective decision-making and problem-solving. See also the decision-making facilitative questions template. And definitely see the ethical decision-making quick guide.