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Decision Making Cycle

Decision Making Cycle

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Quick Overview

The foundation of this model is a logical sequence of the steps that need to be taken in order to make a decision. This model has been reduced to the simplicity of three steps


Related models: DMAICLEANDeming CircleDecision MakingKnowledge DefinitionKnowledge Value ChainKnowledge ConversionLearn and Remember;

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Decision making cycle

 

Origin

There’s an enormous array of different decision making cycles that have been written about. We are unaware of the origin of these particular three phases.

Related models: DMAICLEANDeming CircleDecision MakingKnowledge DefinitionKnowledge Value ChainKnowledge ConversionLearn and Remember;

The model

The foundation of this model is a logical sequence of the steps that need to be taken in order to make a decision. This model has been reduced to the simplicity of three steps: 

      Analysis of facts;

      Making judgement;

      Making decisions.

Analysis of facts

Part of decision making is often based on facts. In the first phase you give crystal clear assignments in order to collect some factual information. Opinions and emotions don’t play a role in this process. The truth of the information is not to be discussed. If it is discussed you should ask yourself whether this is the right time to be forming judgment or even whether the facts are truly facts.       

A variety of people can be used to do this analysis. Different people have different areas of expertise and different reach in terms of access to various sources. In addition, the chance is bigger that when someone participates in this process the final decision will also be accepted.

Collecting information is not a goal in itself. The data received still has a long way to go before it can be considered ‘knowledge’. Consider the systematic processing of data (with our favorite tool Excel J) as the way to turn facts into knowledge[1].

Following the analysis, the ‘knowledge’ can be turned into a variety of alternatives. The result of this phase is an analysis report with written alternatives.     

Making judgment

In this phase the analysis results are evaluated and tested. This often happens with a smaller group of people. Many people that have grown in the ‘natural hierarchy’ as a result of their performances, have visionary capacities and a certain amount of independance.

The alternatives are thought about collectively. It’s primarily the ‘communication’ aspect that’s now added to the process creating a kind of intelligence with respect to the issue.  The result is advice that is used for the decision making phase.   

Making decisions

The real decision is made in this phase. This can happen in a few different ways:      

      Democratically: on the condition that a minimum of 50% + 1 of the voters accept the decision;

      Majority decision: on the condition that (mostly) 2/3 of the voters accept the decision;

      Unanimity: Everyone must agree;

      Consensus: No one may disagree with the decision (an interesting difference with unanimity);    

      Decision with the right to veto: The decision is not taken if one person is against.

      Delegation: the decision is delegated to one person or group. In a group the aforementioned processes can be used;    

      Authority: one person decides.

Making a decision only adds value if action is taken as a result of the decision. This phase is completed once the decision is formulated, recorded, and communicated to all involved parties.

What can you do with it? 

Determine very clearly what a decision needs to be made about. What problem, challenge, or issue are you solving? Discuss this with the decision makers at the beginning.    

Analysis of facts    

In the analysis of facts you’re actually giving minor assignments to the people that can collect the facts. Compare these assignments to the SMART demands. Choose the people that have factual knowledge about the subject. Make clear that the process isn’t about judgements but about using the input to make a decision.      

Making judgement

For this phase choose people that can separate themselves from their own stubborn principles and see the situation in a wider context.  Identify how the analysis and judgement forming will take place and how the results will be published. Discuss the results with one, or a few of the decision makers.  

Making decisions

Before starting, determine which decision making principle will be used to make the decision. During the decision making phase it’s a good idea to review and briefly discuss the direction of the process. Agree on who will communicate the decisions made and and to whom it will be communicated. Combine clear actions to be taken in terms of control, direction, and follow up. It’s the execution of exactly these actions that will evenutally add value to the company.

We wish you many good decisions!

Related models: 

-   DMAIC

-   LEAN

-   Deming Circle

-   Decision Making

-   Knowledge Definition

-   Knowledge Value Chain

-   Knowledge Conversion

-   Learn and Remember;

 

Sources:

       http://vergaderen.weebly.com/besluitvormingscyclus.html



[1] For more info read the knowledge value chain by Peter Drucker.