Framework for Making a Decision

Do you have a good decision process in your company? Are the right people involved in the decisions? Are decisions made in a timely manner?

Are good decisions being made? When many people answer these questions honestly they are pretty disappointed. I found that in many organizations:

  • There is a lack of good decision-making process for key decisions.
  • Too much time is spent on matters that are unimportant.
  • Not enough time is spent on matters that are critical.
  • Companies fail to make decisions regarding critical matters.
  • Senior management involves itself in the wrong issues.
  • Many decisions should be delegated to lower tiers, but senior management does not delegate responsibility.

One example of a particularly bad decision-making process was a company that had two ways to make a decision: 1) follow gut instinct or 2) make no decision at all. While there are times that you need to use instinct as part of your process, this company was relying too heavily on it, and it was costing them a lot of money.

As a result, they asked my company if there was a framework they could use to guide them through making their decisions. This is what we came up with.

For all decisions, 12 questions should be asked:

  1. 1. What is the goal in the decision?
  2. What are the consequences/costs of making a bad decision?
  3. Why am I involved in this decision?
  4. What is my role in this decision?
  5. Do I (we) have the expertise to make a proper decision?
  6. What criteria should we use to make a good decision, and how will we rank and weight them?
  7. Are there proven tools to help us make this decision?
  8. Who else should be involved in this decision, and what role should they play?
  9. How much information is appropriate for this decision?
  10. How much time should I spend on this decision?
  11. How long am I willing to wait to make this decision?
  12. How many alternatives should be considered?

By using this list one can help avoid making major decisions without taking proper precautions. The list also helps balance risk, time and cost.

Howard Shore is a business growth expert who works with companies that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please contact Howard Shore at 305.722.7213 or .