- Define the decision.
- Gather relevant information.
- Identify alternatives.
- Evaluate the evidence.
- Choose from the alternatives.
- Move on.
- Review your decision.
"Two paths diverged in a forest, and I chose the less gone road, and it made a big difference," said Robert Frost. But unfortunately, not every decision is as simple as “Let's go this way and see where to go”, especially when making a decision about your business.
Whether you're running a small team or a large company, your success and the success of your company depend on making the right decisions and learning from the wrong ones.
Use these decision-making steps to help you make more profitable decisions. When you put in place a formal decision-making process, you will be able to avoid hasty decision making and make more informed decisions.
Defining the business decision making process
Business decision-making is a step-by-step process that allows professionals to solve problems by weighing evidence, examining alternatives and choosing a path from there. This defined process also provides an opportunity to finally review whether the decision was correct.
7 decision-making steps
While there are many small variations of the decision-making framework going around, professionals use these seven steps most commonly in the Internet, business textbooks, and leadership presentations.
1. Define the decision
To make a decision, you must first identify the problem you need to solve or the question you need to answer. Define your decision clearly. If you misidentify the problem to be solved or if the problem you chose is too broad, you will take the decision train off the road before it leaves the station.
If your decision needs to reach a specific goal, do it measurably and on time so you can make sure you reach the goal at the end of the process.
2. Gather relevant information
Once you've made up your mind, it's time to gather information about that choice. Conduct an internal assessment by seeing where your organization has succeeded and failed in the areas relevant to your decision. Also seek information from external sources, including surveys, market research, and in some cases evaluation from paid consultants.
3. Identify alternatives
With relevant information now at your fingertips, identify possible solutions to your problem. There are usually more than one option to consider when trying to reach a goal; For example, if your company is trying to get more engagement on social media, your alternatives may be paid; social ads, a change in your organic social media strategy, or a combination of the two.
4. Evaluate the evidence
After identifying multiple alternatives, weigh the evidence for or against the alternatives in question. See what companies have done to succeed in these areas in the past and hold tight, look at the gains and losses of your own organization. Identify potential pitfalls for each of your alternatives and compare them to potential rewards.
5. Choose from alternatives
Here's the part of the decision-making process, you know, where you make the decision. I hope you have identified and clarified what decision needs to be made, gained all relevant information and developed and evaluated potential pathways to be followed. You are perfectly prepared to choose.
6. Take action
Once you've made up your mind, take action! Develop a plan to make your decision concrete and accessible. Develop a project plan about your decision, and then release the team from their duties once the plan is implemented.
7. Review your decision
Take a honest look at your decision after a predetermined time that you defined in step one of the decision making process. Did you solve the problem? Have you answered the question? Have you achieved your goals?
If so, write down what works for future reference. If not, learn from your mistakes as you begin your decision-making process again.