A Checklist for Making Better Decisions


How often have you seen people make a really bad decision?

Maybe they evaluated it from a financial perspective, but didn't think about how people would react to it. Or they got excited about the potential of the idea, but had not considered the risks.

Or, perhaps the decision was championed by the dominant member of a decision-making group, and other group members didn't feel confident enough to argue.

There are many factors to consider when you make a decision, and it's easy to miss something important. In this article and video, we'll look at a simple checklist we've created that helps you to avoid this.

Click here to view a transcript of this video.

About the Tool

ORAPAPA is an acronym that highlights seven key things you should consider as part of making a significant decision. It stands for:

  • Opportunities.
  • Risks.
  • Alternatives and improvements.
  • Past experience.
  • Analysis.
  • People.
  • Alignment and ethics.

ORAPAPA helps to give you a well-rounded view of your decision, because it encourages you to look at it from various perspectives. This allows you to break out of your habitual thinking style and avoid common decision-making biases, so that you don't overlook anything important.

It also gives people involved in making a group decision "permission" to voice their opinions, even when their views differ from that of the wider group. This reduces conflict and helps you avoid Groupthink.

For example, your team may have a resolutely upbeat culture, which discourages people from talking about risk. Or, team members may be so focused on the future that they don't take time to learn from past experience.


To use the tool, work through the elements below.


Your first step is to look at the positives of the decision. 


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