Take the "overwhelming" factor out of decision making with this logical, step-by-step process.
Chances are, you make hundreds of decisions every week. They can range from very simple choices, like what to wear to work, to more complex and important ones, like whether to launch a new product.
When you have to make a difficult decision, you need to consider many competing factors, and think about your alternatives. This can feel overwhelming at times. But, there is a logical, step-by-step process you can use to sort through them all.
There are seven steps to making an effective decision. The first is to create a constructive environment. To do this, make sure you've got the right people involved, and allow for everyone's opinion to be heard.
Next, ask enough questions so you fully understand the problem. For example, could it be a symptom of something deeper? Tools like the Five Whys technique can help you identify if there are underlying issues.
Then you need to brainstorm as many good alternatives as you can. This is critical in making sure you've explored all of your options. The more ideas you consider, the more likely you are to arrive at the best decision.
The fourth step is to explore your alternatives. You need to assess the risks and implications of all of the ideas you've generated so far. The ORAPAPA checklist is helpful here. This encourages you to look at decisions from various perspectives, so you can identify factors that you might not have otherwise considered.
Now, you need to choose the best alternative. This can be confusing because there may be many different factors involved in your decision, and they may not have the same weight or importance. Using a tool like Decision Matrix Analysis at this stage is useful, because it helps you take all of these different factors into account when making your final decision.
You can discover what the sixth and seventh steps are, and learn more about the tools involved in the decision-making process, in the article that accompanies this video.