In life, we are all faced with a variety of decisions.
If fact it runs into several hundred decisions on a daily basis.
Bet you didn’t realize that. Go ahead and count it through. I’ll wait.
In case you didn’t realize it, taking that second to decide whether or not you were going to count it was a decision you just made.
Although most decisions may seem easy to make when compared to the occasional life changing ones, a structured decision making process will help you view each decision as important and, therefore, handle it with the right level of seriousness. It is usually important to have a given decision making process to follow to make sure that each of the decisions we consider important is handled correctly. Unless of course, you have absolute belief in faith and fate, then the rest of this article is irrelevant to you. So you can go ahead and move on to something else. Unless you believe it was fate that led you here, then you’d probably want to stay on. I personally still think you need a good decision making process to decide what to do, otherwise, you would not have made the bad decision to read this article this far.
A good process ensures that you do not leave out important considerations in arriving at the final course of action. duh.
Below we will look at the different steps of the decision making process.
The first step in the decision making process is to take the time to identify the exact decision that needs to be made. I say this because many people are morons; they don’t listen when their employers give instructions or their wives give commands, or when their husbands make humble requests. People tend to often execute their thoughts without thinking about what they are doing and what they want to actually achieve. For example, a person may simply create a website with a random decision making application, not really knowing what the hell he might want out of it, then spend a bucket load of time maintaining it, still not knowing why he’s doing it. This same person may decide to write mindless drivel for posts, still not really knowing where he wants to go with it.
So it is important to define why you are doing what you are doing before you start doing it.
This involves taking the time to define the specific nature of the decision to be made. This is an important step as it charts out the exact problem to be addressed.
Once the decision is identified, you should take the time to collect information about the decision. Making an informed decision almost guarantees a better outcome as you will understand the problem to be addressed and how it can be addressed.
As you research about the decision to be made, you will identify some of the ways you can address the decision/problem. This step in the decision making process helps you come up with a list of alternatives that can get the required end result although in different ways.
Making a decision based on the different alternatives identified above may involve different consequences and processes. It is, therefore, better to first simulate outcomes based on each of the alternatives before choosing the most favorable one. This step helps come up with a prioritized list of decision alternatives.
Of course, the step above obviously assumes you have a boatload of time and very little else to fill it with.
Now that you have a list of prioritized alternatives, the next step in the decision making process is to choose the best course of action. It is important to note that this step can be as easy as just picking out the first alternative highlighted in the above step; alternatively, it can include combining two or more of the alternatives above. On a side note – keep a look out for when I write an article about why you need a decision making process to end your decision making process.
At this point, all you need is to take action. You have already dealt with the hard part of the process and have enough information to have made a sober and informed decision that is bound to get you the intended results. Unless your decision was to take over the World, get a Degree, get married or something like that. If that’s the case – then the hard part is just beginning.
The last step in the decision making process is to review the consequences of the decision taken. This step is aimed at helping you; the decision maker gauges the effectiveness and reliability of the process. Note that it is okay to repeat some of the steps above in a bid to ensure that any mistakes made are corrected for a better end result.
Yeah, so it’s all a vicious cycle. Given that Murphy’s law is real and chances are shit is going to hit the fan at some point of time – it is very possible that all the time you spent making that decision was for nothing. Plus, to top it off there is ALWAYS going to be that 1 person who is going to tell you that you “should have known better if it had been me, I would have…”.