Evaluate and Make Decision- by comparing the alternatives based on information and values. Ask yourself which is best for me and those I care about if this is personal decision or what is best for the business or organization? Before deciding rate, the alternatives on the elements or objectives. Use the Decision Matrix to help in this part of the evaluation process. Does the choice make sense?
Improve- are their gaps in the quality of the decision? Do you have areas that you are uncertain of or feel lacked enough information? Repeat the process after filling in the gaps to see if the choice is 100% what you want from the decision.
Three Steps to Building a Decision Matrix
How to Start:
• Use the Decision Matrix
• Ask is my analysis and selection among the alternatives consistent with my information and values?
• Can I explain this choice to others and feel good? Why is this the best alternative?
• What would it take to switch to another alternative, that may be better?
• Should I drop and alternatives for ethical reasons?
• Have I used probabilities to describe uncertainty?
• Would someone I trust or respect agree with the logic applied in the process?
Traps to Avoid:
• Ignore possibilities, “It won’t happen to me(company)?
• Assuming there is no uncertainty in the outcomes.
• Misinterpretation of factual information.
• Ignoring information, alternatives or values.
• Relying on irrelevant information (e.g. sunk cost, regrets)
• Wishful thinking
• Doing what I know to do and ignoring something difficult but important
• Making logical errors
• Paralysis by analysis
Week 6: Sept 24 – 30
WEEK 6: Understanding the Decision Process-Evaluating the Alternatives and Making the Decision
Theme #1: Weighting and Ranking the Alternatives Applying Sound Reasoning
1) Evaluate and Make Decision- by comparing the alternatives based on information and values. Ask yourself which is best for me and those I care about if this is personal decision or what is best for the business or organization? Before deciding, rate the alternatives on the elements or objectives. Use the Decision Matrix to help in this part of the evaluation process. Does the choice make sense?
2) Improve- are their gaps in the quality of the decision? Do you have areas that you are uncertain of or feel lacked enough information? Repeat the process after filling in the gaps to see if the choice is 100% what you want from the decision. (Decision Quality Model developed by the Decision Education Foundation)
Your total scores will suggest the best alternative and your decision.
Theme #2: Assessing the effectiveness of the choice by seeing how it worked in implementation.
After a decision has been made and implemented it is important to assess the outcome(s) and process of the decision. Assessing confirms if the decision alternative chosen led to the desired outcomes and knowledge that can improve future decision making. Learning from experience encourages effective and continuous improvement for the future.
The objective of evaluating outcomes is for the decision maker to develop insight into the decision. Many of the lessons developed in this stage come out of examining the implications of the decision. How and who did the decision affect and why? One can also consider whether a decision had the desired effect. For example, a decision to hold additional training seminars may have been intended to make it more convenient for people to learn a new technology. However, if overall attendance did not increase, then the decision may not have addressed the underlying cause of why people did not go to training events. Once the outcome of a decision is known, the results may imply a need to revise the decision and try again.
When decision outcomes are not clearly measurable or have ambiguous results—some parts good, some bad—is not uncommon for people to emphasize the favorable data and discount the negative. Maintaining self-esteem also may cause decision makers to attribute good outcomes to their actions and bad outcomes to factors outside their control. This type of bias can limit an honest assessment of what went right and what didn’t, and thus reduce what can be learned by carefully evaluating outcomes.
Appraising the Decision Process
Assessing the process by which a decision was made is also effective. Often lessons can be learned that benefit the future. Here are a few areas that demonstrate the need for examination of the process:
• Examining areas like risk and uncertainty in the context of the decision results can help review the success of the decision maker in dealing with the process. If estimates were off or if emotions played too big a part of the decision than the decision maker can make adjustments in the future or find better tools to help minimize mistakes in future results.
• If the decision was made by a group, having a conversation with all participants is worthwhile because the members can reflect on how the process affected the outcome. For instance, did a few members insist on doing things their way when it turned out to be ineffective? In the future the group membership should be changed or perhaps the leader.
• Whether enough information was gathered and whether its quality was high enough are two questions that should be considered.
• Were the decision tools used effective? Could others have been more effective in collecting or evaluating data?
• Finally, it is important to question whether all the relevant parties contributed information and knowledge needed for the decision, and whether everyone who should have been involved was given the chance to participate.
This introduction was adapted from the following source: B. (n.d.). Boundless Management. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-management/chapter/decision-making-process/
Measuring Decision Effectiveness
Three Steps to Building a Decision Matrix
Evaluating the Alternatives Applying Sound Reasoning Episode 15
Here is a sample step by step example to get you started.
Alternative Objective (e.g.
Travel with Husband) Objective 2
Save 401 K money Objective etc Total
A Storefront 1 2 3
B 2 3 1
Step 1 Rate each alternative against its meeting the objective in the column. You do this by setting a ranking scale. I suggest using 0 to 3. Zero being not meeting the objective and 3 being the a complete yes to meeting the objective well.
Step 2 Total the scores for each alternative. Those alternatives that do not score well at all get rid of them at this point.
Step 3: Create a new table with the remaining alternatives and their rating scores from step one.
Step 4: Prioritize (weight) your objectives. If you have five objectives 5 is the most important and 1 the least. Put that number in the objective title. Multiply that number against the rate number from above to get a score for that objective. Add up all the objective scores for an alternative and enter it in the total box.