• Raymond Thomas

Making Effective Decisions A Daily Model For Success

Decision making is such a seamless brain process that we’re usually unaware of it. This is not until our choice results in unexpected consequences. Then we may look back and wonder, “Why did I choose that option?”

Making effective and quantifiable decisions are increasingly becoming important in your day to day lives. You want to mitigate the risks associated to carefully allocating the resources that are preciously available to you. Have you wondered how do you currently make decisions? Do you have a difficulty in backing your decisions with rational and accurate data? Do you have a framework for making decisions?

Decision making is an act of choosing between two or more courses of action. Researches have indicated that you either make decisions intuitively or through logical reasoning. And then again, you are faced with one of those complex decisions where you have to use a combination of intuition and logic. Do you recall one of those instances?

There are many decision making models that you may be familiar with from what your teachers taught you and how you may have fine tuned to adapt to current day situation. I use a seven-step decision making model which I find rather helpful in organizing my thoughts and helping me through the day. They are as follows:

  1. Identify the decision to be made

  2. Gather information

  3. Identify alternatives

  4. Weigh the evidence

  5. Chose from alternatives

  6. Take action

  7. Review decision

It may seem simplistic to you but working through each step may sometime require brain storming, analysis and critical reasoning. There are many tools and techniques that are available which help in formulating and deciding the outcomes. One specific tool that I really admire which stretches my thinking process is the Decision Matrix.

Decision matrix is also known as the decision grid, selection matrix or grid, problem matrix, opportunity analysis and criteria based matrix. It is primarily used in the following situations;

  1. When a list of options must be narrowed to one choice

  2. When the decision must be made on the basis of several criteria

  3. After the list of options has been reduced to a manageable number by list reduction.

The decision matrix procedure is as follows;

  1. Make sure that you have 2 or more options that you need to decide on

  2. Brainstorm a set of evaluative criteria appropriate to the situation, ie you are planning a b’day party at the restaurant and some of the criteria may be cost, availability of function room, proximity to public transport etc

  3. Assign a relative weightage to each criterion based on how important that criterion is to the situation. Do this by distributing a percentage for each criterion, where the total for all criteria sums up to 100%

  4. Place the criterion, weightage and options in a table (as outlined below)

  5. Evaluate each choice against the criteria. You can employ a rating scale of 1-5 where 1 is least preferred and 5 is most preferred.

  6. Multiply the options rating by the weight. Add the points up for each option. The option with the highest score to generate meaningful discussion and lead the team toward consensus.

You definitely can envision how this decision matrix would make your life more predictable in the outcomes that you make. Moreover, these results become more tangible and you can share it with your friends, colleagues and peers.

You must agree that decisions become more important as you strive through your daily chores. Why not simplify the daily decisions that you make by incorporating the decision matrix into your life?

If you have questions, email Raymond Thomas and he will guide you in formulating your very own decision matrix.

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