Avoid overlooking important factors when making a decision.
Good decisions lead to success. But sometimes, even the most experienced people make bad decisions. And the costs of these can be devastating.
So how do you ensure you're doing everything in your power to make great decisions that work?
This is where the ORAPAPA checklist can help. ORAPAPA highlights seven key factors to consider when you're making an important decision: Opportunities, Risks, Alternatives, Past experience, Analysis, People, and Alignment.
By investigating all seven factors, you'll be able to view things with a fresh eye, exploring angles you might not usually think about. That way, you won't be taken by surprise! ORAPAPA can help you predict potential problems and refine your decision so that it works – for everyone.
To start with, you'll need to gather the whole team of decision makers together. Good decisions are made when everyone involved has a say and is encouraged to think creatively and innovatively. Together, consider the Opportunities of your potential decision. What benefits might it deliver? This is the fun, positive part of the process. But it's also essential to look for the negatives, and flag up any possible Risks. This will give you a realistic idea of what you could achieve. And, by identifying what could threaten your success, you are primed for the next step.
Now think critically and creatively about Alternatives and improvements to the original idea. Be sure to avoid Groupthink! This step will help you maximize your opportunities and minimize the risks.
To reduce risk further, it's a good idea to explore the Past experiences of anyone who's tried something similar. Did they succeed or fail? What can you learn from their experience?
By now you'll have gathered a lot of data. Analyze it thoroughly to get a good idea of your decision's impact. Are you jumping to conclusions or making assumptions? Do you need to do more research?
Next you need to consider the People involved in your decision, both inside and outside the organization. How do your stakeholders feel about the issue?
And this leads us on to your organization's values and the values of the individuals within it. Is the decision in Alignment with the overall culture of the company? Does it sit well with people's personal values? Is it ethical?
Following the ORAPAPA checklist helps you to look at significant decisions from a variety of perspectives, allowing you to make better decisions.
For more information about the ORAPAPA decision-making checklist, see the article that accompanies this video.