6 Key Decision Making Techniques

Author – Paul Newton, Helen Bristoll

Why it’s worth reading: Describes effective decision-making techniques and how to use them

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This free eBook describes six key decision making techniques that bring structure to the decision making process. These techniques can be used in isolation or can be combined in order to make decisions in a rational way that can be justified later if this is necessary.

Chapter 1 – The Kepner-Tregoe Matrix
The Kepner-Tregoe Matrix helps you sort out all of the important factors before making your final decision. This matrix guides your thoughts when tackling an important decision. It enables you to frame the question at hand in a number of important ways so that you select the ‘best possible’ choice available. It consists of four steps, which are – Situational Analysis, Problem Analysis, Decision Analysis and Potential Problem Analysis.

Chapter 2 – Decision Matrix Analysis
Making a decision based on weighing up the various options you have identified is common amongst management. The model, Decision Matrix Analysis is ideal because it allows you to create your own matrix rather than have to use a pre-designed one. This means it can be customized to the needs of the organization and can be created relatively quickly.

Chapter 3 – The Analytic Hierarchy Process
The Analytic Hierarchy Process applies a mathematic approach to decision-making. This model relies on mathematics to help you make an unbiased, logical decision based completely on the factors that have been identified as important in the selection process. There are three crucial levels to the Analytic Hierarchy Process tool – the goal, the criteria and the alternatives. It may not be as simplistic as other models but it is accurate in showing you the best available option.

Chapter 4 – Pareto Analysis
Pareto Analysis is based on the famous Pareto Principle – 20% of the work you do will generate 80% of the results you are looking for. There is no direct relationship (1:1) between the work you do and your results. The key is to pick out the right work to do, so that you can attain the majority of your desired results without having to do all the work.

Chapter 5 – The Futures Wheel
Decisions would be easy if we could accurately predict the future. The tool ‘the Futures Wheel’ was developed to assists management in judging the potential outcomes that are likely to occur as a result of the decisions they have made. It is quite simplistic in its approach and helps to keep your organization on the right track.

Chapter 6 – Force Field Analysis
Force Field Analysis is a popular and powerful decision making tool. It helps management tool to determine whether or not they should continue with their plan or alter its course. This tool is an excellent way to recognize and appreciate both sides of a potential change so that you can see how effective it would be.

You will learn:
  • How the Kepner-Tregoe Matrix enables you to frame a question in a number of different ways so that you select the ‘best possible’ choice available.
  • Use the Decision Matrix Analysis to make a decision based on weighing up the various options you have identified.
  • How the Analytic Hierarchy Process enables you to make decisions based on the factors that have been identified as important in the selection process.
  • How to use Pareto Analysis to pick out the right work to do, so that you can get 80% of your desired results with 20% effort.
  • How to use the Futures Wheel to help you judge the potential outcomes that are likely to occur as a result of your decisions.
  • How Force Field Analysis can be used to recognize and appreciate both sides of a potential change so that you can see how effective it would be.
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