Steps In The Decision-Making Process

The Ex-Chairman of Tata Sons, Mr. Ratan Tata once said, “I do not believe in taking the right decisions. I make the decisions and then make them right.” But is it really that easy? One has to get to immense heights in terms of success to reach that stage. Our entire lives revolve around constant decision-making. Right from the very first decision in the morning i.e., ‘what to wear?’ to the very last one in bed, ‘did I set the alarm for tomorrow,’ our lives are built around taking multiple decisions per day.

Our decision-making process is based on all the past experiences we’ve had in our lives, and as we grow older, we start making decisions faster and faster. In our teens, we can decide who we like and what our passion is. In our twenties, we start thinking about our life goals and career aspirations. However, now the decision-making process isn’t as simple as “chocolate is my all-time favorite ice-cream!” Once we enter our professional lives, we need to start making decisions, and with those decisions comes the responsibility of people other than you.

Decisions that could have a huge impact on a number of people, be it your office staff, coworkers, employees, stockholders, or customers, need to be taken seriously and with the right information in hand. With our goals clear and complete clarity of the problem or situation, we can start working on the decision-making process. The decision-making process has the following seven steps –

  • Identify the decision

The first step to solve any problem or take any decision is to identify what exactly you are dealing with. Sometimes, when you don’t define what exactly you are deciding on, what particular fact, things might get difficult. You might get confused if you have not clearly stated what the problem is and what kind of solution you are expecting. What is the most sustainable way to tackle this problem? What specific parts of the problem do I want to fix on priority? By asking yourself questions such as these will get you to the root of the problem and assist in forming a clear picture of what you are facing.

  • Gather relevant information

Once you have identified the problem, start by gathering all the relevant information on the subject. This includes relevant studies, peer experiences, statistics, among others. By assessing this information, you can make projections based on what has worked in the past and what might work in the future.

  • Identify the alternatives

It is important to look for multiple solutions for a problem. By using creative thinking techniques such as lateral thinking, you might be able to find solutions that are out of the box and more appropriate than the conventional approaches to solving the problem.

  • Weigh the evidence

Once you have a decent number of alternatives and feel that you have tackled the problem from all angles, it is time to pause the brainstorming session. You can review every possible decision among peers or coworkers and weigh them against one another.

  • Choose among the alternatives

Once you have a clearer idea of what the most ‘ideal’ or closest to the ideal decision would be, the only thing left for you to do would be to decide. Decide the one that you feel is the best, most suitable, and something that would have a positive impact on people’s lives.

  • Take action

Once you have made an informed decision, you can take action. It is important to develop a detailed plan to tackle big issues and have an achievable timeframe.

  • Review your decision

After the implementation of your decision, it is important to understand if it has worked. Review the information. Take notes of various insights gained by observing your decision take place. Improve the factors that do not work or could work better and replicate the things that work really well.

When it comes to making decisions, one should always weigh the positive and negative business consequences and should favor the positive outcomes.

This avoids the possible losses to the organization and keeps the company running with sustained growth.


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