The Basics of the Decision-Making Process

The Basics of the Decision-Making Process

The decision-making process has several steps. In each step, you must define the problem or goal. Make sure that you use clear and concise verbiage when defining the problem. You may also need to identify the factors that influence the decision. After you have clarified the problem or goal, you can proceed to step two: evaluating the criteria and results. Once you have completed step two, you are ready for step three.



Principles of the decision-making process can help individuals make sound decisions, regardless of the circumstances. They help people make good judgment calls when the optimal solution is not known and there are only two viable options. They provide a framework for networked organizations where judgment is required. Moreover, they help organizations transform empowerment from a buzzword to a living aspect of organizational culture. The following are a few principles to consider when using the decision-making process.

First of all, decisions are based on a number of factors, including the purpose and the situation. Without a good decision-making process, even the best idea can prove ineffective. In order to make good decisions, managers need to analyze a situation, observe others, and understand the practicality of a specific option. The process must be followed carefully to make decisions that will lead to growth for the organization.


The decision-making process begins by analyzing the pros and cons of a decision. Once you have a list of pros and cons, you need to weigh them in order of importance. If you need help, you can seek advice from people you trust or from experts in the field. Ultimately, the decision will be a reflection of your values and personal priorities.

Identifying the problem. Often the problem is obvious, but the manager must take time to examine all of the information and possibilities to come up with the right decision. During the evaluation, the decision-maker may need to seek out more information, alter a previous choice, or consider new options. This process will help you develop the decision-making skills you need to make wise decisions. But how do you go about doing this?


Criteria for the decision-making process are principles, rules, variables, or conditions that guide a team to select the best course of action. These guidelines improve decision-making by providing a clear structure that enables people to make decisions quickly and efficiently. Using criteria in the decision-making process will help teams establish approval stages, measure the viability of alternative choices, and ensure that everyone involved understands the criteria before making a final decision, roll d20.

For example, an organization might prioritize reducing its production costs. A budget may be set in advance for this purpose, and management can determine the costs of a decision by examining previous project costs. In addition, team members may assess the risk level, or probability, of the decision. The risk level criterion represents how much of a risk the team is willing to assume. In other words, the company can set a certain percentage of risk as the maximum amount it will tolerate.


Assessment is a systematic process to assess a program or activity for its merit, value, significance, or cost-benefit ratio. Programs aspire to improve the world around them, but their success is often determined by their costs and effectiveness. Therefore, program evaluations are critical in answering questions such as, “Does this program really work?” or “Is it worth continuing?”


As with any evaluation, there are some limitations and biases that must be addressed. For example, evaluations that rely on historical data may seriously bias decisions against certain programs. Further, the timing of an evaluation is important for determining the net difference between costs and benefits. Large programs may take longer to reach net excess benefits over costs than smaller programs. Therefore, decision-theoretic evaluation approaches should be used whenever possible.