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Decision Making Tools – Desight

August 7, 2012

How to Make Better Decisions


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Decision making is an essential leadership skill. If you can learn how to make timely, well-considered decisions, then you can lead your team to well-deserved success. If, however, you make poor decisions, your time as a leader will be brutally short.

The 40+ techniques explained in this section help you to make the best decisions possible with the information available. These tools help you map out the likely consequences of decisions, balance different factors, and choose the best courses of action to take.

TEST TIME!!

Start by taking our How Good is Your Decision Making?

self-test, and then explore different decision making tools in detail. In particular, take a look at our sections onChoosing Between Options, and Deciding Whether to Go Ahead.

The Browse by Category box will help you target specific skills, while you can look through the list below to find interesting topics. Enjoy these articles!

 Free Tools   Mind Tools Club

Introduction to Decision Making Skills
How Good is Your Decision-Making?

Decision Making Models

The Vroom-Yetton-Jago Decision Model
Deciding How to Decide
The Kepner-Tregoe Matrix
Making Unbiased, Risk-Assessed Decisions
OODA Loops
Understanding the Decision Cycle
The Recognition-Primed Decision (RPD) Process
Making Good Decisions Under Pressure

Choosing Between Options

Grid Analysis
Making a Choice Balancing Many Factors
Paired Comparison Analysis
Working Out Relative Importances
The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)
Choosing by Weighing Up Many Subjective Factors
Conjoint Analysis
Measuring Buyer Preferences
Pareto Analysis
Using the 80:20 Rule to Prioritize
Decision Trees
Choosing by Projecting “Expected Outcomes”
The Quantitative Strategic Planning Matrix (QSPM)
Choosing the Best Strategic Way Forward
The Futures Wheel 
Identifying Future Consequences of a Change

Deciding Whether to Go Ahead

Go/No-Go Decisions
Deciding Whether to Go Ahead
Risk Analysis
Evaluating and Managing Risks
Plus, Minus, Interesting
Weighing the Pros and Cons of a Decision
Force Field Analysis
Analyzing Pressures For and Against Change
“What If” Analysis
Making Decisions by Exploring Scenarios
Impact Analysis
Identifying the Unexpected Consequences of a Decision
Business Experiments
Taking Intelligent Risks

Financial Decisions

Cost/Benefit Analysis
Evaluating Quantitatively Whether to Follow a Course of Action
Break-even Analysis
Determining When a Product Becomes Profitable
Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
Deciding Whether to Invest
Cash Flow Forecasting
Testing the Viability of a Project

Improving Decision Making

The Ladder of Inference
Avoiding “Jumping to Conclusions”
Decision Making Under Uncertainty
Making the Best Choice with the Information Available
Decision Making – “Cautious” or “Courageous”?
Understand Your Risk Preference and Make Better Decisions
Six Thinking Hats
Looking at a Decision From All Points of View
Critical Thinking
Develop the Skills for Successful Thinking
Blindspot Analysis
Avoiding Common Fatal Flaws in Decision Making
Reactive Decision Making  
Making Good Decisions Under Pressure
Linear Programming
Optimizing Your Limited Resources
Monte Carlo Analysis
Bringing Uncertainty and Risk Into Forecasting

The Impact of Ethics and Values

The Foursquare Protocol
Learning to Manage Ethical Decisions
What Are Your Values?
Deciding What’s Most Important in Life
Spiral Dynamics 
Understanding How People’s Values May Affect Their Decision Making

Group Decision Making

Organizing Team Decision-Making
Reaching Consensus for Better Decisions
Multi-Voting
Choosing Fairly Between Many Options
The Nominal Group Technique
Prioritizing Issues and Projects to Achieve Consensus
The Stepladder Technique
Making Better Group Decisions
The Delphi Technique
Achieving Well Thought-Through Consensus Among Experts
Avoiding Groupthink
Avoiding Fatal Flaws in Group Decision Making
Hartnett’s Consensus-Oriented Decision-Making Model
Developing Solutions Collectively
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