Effective decision making steps

Decisions are made constantly at every level in the organizations. Decision making includes strategic decisions, managerial decisions, routine operational decisions and even personal decisions.

So any person makes decisions but only the good people make effective decisions that make a difference.

Many people find it hard to make effective decisions, but unfortunately we all have to take decisions even when you decide not to take a decision, it’s a decision and has its impacts. So you should know how to take and make an effective decision by the right way.

Effective decision making definition:

Decision making: is selecting a choices or compromises from the available options in order to meet your goals or organization’s goals.

Effective decision making: it’s about the process through which choices are selected from the available options and then managed through implementation to achieve your goals or organization’s goal.

Effective decision making importance:

As the manager your decisions are very important because by a decision you can add value to your products, develop your team skills, increase the performance for the employees or increase the outcomes, by other words your decisions are the key of your success. So your decision is important to:

  • Face the problems and challenges
  • Motivate your employees
  • Inspiring your people
  • Increase the efficiency
  • Handle the resources
  • Grow up your business

In this article we are talking about the decisions when you have enough time to decide which action you will take will be better than others, but sometime you don’t have enough time to know which action is best and you have to make a decision fast; in cases like that you should take a decision while you are keeping an eye on your goals then let your intuition suggest you the right choice.

Effective decision making steps:

Step 1: Identify the decision:


The first step to make a decision is to realize that you need to take a decision and:

  • identify and understand the nature of the decision you should take
  • identify what the factors are considered in making the decision
  • Identify the current situation and the desired situation.

A useful way to identify the decision is thinking about the following questions:

  • Do you think there is an issue needs a decision?
  • What is the current situation?
  • When, where and why the issue appeared?
  • Who is involved in the issue?

Example: assume that you are a manager in HR department in an organization, so you should know that one of your responsibilities is handling the human resources and hiring new people, and you should know how your organization is growing up, what the needed resources are, when and where you will hire new people and who are involved in hiring new people.

Step 2: Gather the relevant information:

To take right decisions you should first collect all information about the decision. Gathering information helps you to make effective decision and:

  • Strengthen the situation identification and awareness by how serious the situation is.
  • Knowing the size of the gap between your vision and the current situation.
  • Boost your Self-confidence because by the gathered information you know the current situation and know what you should do.

Example: in the previous example; you should gather all data about the employees and their job descriptions:

  • How many are the current employees? Do they do all the required works or you need to hire new people?
  • How many people you need to hire? Can you make a job rotation to overcome the resources issue? And how can you do that?
  • What are the problems will occur if you didn’t hire new people?

Step 3: Identify and evaluate the alternatives:

After identifying the decision and gathering the relevant information then identify the alternative options and write down the possible negative and positive outcomes for each alternative option.

You can determine the alternatives by Imagination, making researches, discussions with your team or asking people who have more experiences. The following questions will help you to identify and evaluate the possible alternatives:

  • What are the possible decisions?
  • What are the negatives and positives for each option?
  • What if the decision is delayed?
  • What if the situation remains as it is?

Keep in mind delaying the decision is an alternative option and also remaining the current situation as it is, is a decision.

Example: in our example there are 4 options: you can fill down the following table to identify and evaluate the alternatives, and rate each alternative from (0 To 10)

Options Negatives PositivesEvaluating each decision
Hiring new people6
Making job rotation8
Delaying the decision4
Remaining the current situation as is3
additional options4

Then apply the decision which has the highest rate.

Step 4: Choose among the alternatives and take your decision:

Once you have identified and evaluated all possible alternatives, you are ready to select the alternative that seems to be the best for you, your team and your company.

You may choose a combination of alternatives based on the evaluation. Such as you may hire some people with job rotation to overcome the resources issue or may your decision is hiring new people after certain time and so on.

Step 5: Execute you decision:

For effective decision making you should put your decision into action:

  • Set a plan for implementing your decision, the plan should be cleared with specific steps and limited time to be effective.
  • Then execute your decision according to your plan.
  • Check continually the implementation to meet your goals. And if there is any unwanted deviation quickly adjust the plan to meet your goals.

Step 6: Evaluate the outcomes of your decision and action steps:

Evaluating the decision is very important step for effective decision making, so the good manager should follow up on his decision and know that the decision doesn’t end at taking, but should be implemented and developed.

  • The good manager always evaluates his/her decision during and after implementation, and if there is any mistake he/she tries to correct it, may be by modifying or even by changing the decision.
  • Also to develop your decision making skills, you should write down the learnt lessons after implementing any decision.

Finally, I’ve written this article to help you, Kindly share the article with your friends if you liked it to help them too.

thanks a lot

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