What questions should be answered in a decision situation?

Daniel J. Power


Decisions must be made in many different situations. The term decision situation refers to the circumstances, aspects, surroundings, goals and preferences associated with making a specific decision. Decision situations can be categorized and commonalities among situations should be recognized to guide decision makers. Prescribed decision processes can be developed to support the thinking of a decision maker. A prescribed process recognizes the situational factors that alter the decision making related analyses and tasks in the specific situation. Asking and answering questions is one way to structured a thinking process. Different questions are asked depending upon the responses to previous questions. The following discussion provides a high-level view of questions in a prescribed process.

1. What is the major issue? what decision question must be resolved?

2. What type of issue is it? routine and familiar? novel and one time? structured or unstructured?

3. If routine, does a solution approach or method exist? If so, use it; if not, go to Question 5.

4. If nonroutine, novel or one time, are all possible resolutions or solutions of the issue known? If no, use creativity techniques to generate solutions?

5. Are criteria for choosing a solution known? If YES, then use Choice process. If NO, then generate and define appropriate criteria.

6. Is it appropriate to use a quantitative solution method like factor rating or optimization? If YES, then use the quantitative solution method. If NO, use a qualitative solution method like Pro-Con Comparison.

Last update: 2016-04-10 03:55
Author: Daniel Power

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