Script Title

Decision Analysis

Script Content

We tend to think of quality decisions as the ones that turn out well, and bad decisions are those that have a negative outcome.

Of course, at the time that we made our decision to take a vacation, we could not have predicted exactly how things would turn out. Unforeseen events and accidents can interfere with even the most carefully planned trips.

So, if it’s impossible to judge the quality of a decision at the time we make it, how can we improve our decisions?

Decision Analysis is a decision-making method that focuses on making high-quality decisions rather than achieving a specific outcome.

Decision-making is a systematic process that considers the implications and impacts of possible decisions and engages stakeholders in dialogue to ensure the right decision at the right time.

Decision Quality is a simple framework that can help you analyze and measure the six key elements of the decision-making process. Think of it like a chain: if one link in that chain breaks, then so makes your decision.

Let’s look at each element in turn.

1. Appropriate Frame

The Appropriate Frame places the decision in a context. What are its objectives? Why is it important to us? Who’s involved, and how do we take their opinions into account as well?

2. Creative Alternatives

The more compelling alternatives we have, the more challenging it is to decide. We can easily get caught up in tunnel vision or favour one idea over another so much that we ignore other possibilities.  We should think outside the box and take risks. Just because we’re used to a certain type of vacation doesn’t mean that other options aren’t worth considering.

3. Meaningful Information

In deciding, what we know is as important as—and often more significant than—what we don’t know. Recognising the limits of our knowledge helps us avoid simplistic and unrealistic choices.

4. Clear Criteria

By identifying the criteria—what we value most in a vacation experience—we can better decide which courses of action to take.

5. Logical Reasoning

It’s human instinct to rely on intuition. But that can be dangerous because logically correct reasoning uses a structured model of uncertainties, criteria, and potential decisions to determine which alternatives will create the most value—where would Spock go on vacation?

6. Commitment

To ensure that decisions have the most significant impact, we must ensure everyone is committed to action. The best way to achieve commitment from someone is by making them part of the decision-making process and involving them in all aspects of it—including using quality criteria like needs identification, agreement on facts about both sides’ interests & realities as well clarity on next steps.

We improve decision quality by clarifying our thinking, building conviction in our decisions, and actively seeking feedback.

Whether you are making a strategic decision such as: should we go on holiday or buy a holiday home? Or a significant decision between adventure or relaxation?

Awareness of the six elements of Decision Quality leads to better debates, with everyone committed to following a logical line of thought.


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