When working in a group on something highly sophisticated, you are often putting several minds together and coming up with solutions. It is easy for the solution to get a bit complicated in the process. Decision analysis is a technique to assist a team or a group, determine the accuracy of a course of action. While analyzing the choice, the team considers the objectives, analyzes the alternative solutions and perceived risks. Organizations use decision analysis while deciding which solution to implement and to decide the most appropriate course of action.
Though this can be applied to all levels of decision-making in a process or project, it is often restricted to management or technical-related decisions that can have a wide impact or serious consequences if not handled the right way.
When a decision is required and people are given an opportunity to participate and contribute towards the choices, they will be more inclined to work as a team and will be committed to the decision taken. The team members will be able to share relevant information, discuss the pros and cons of each choice and prioritize the most appropriate choices. The more explicit the criteria used for decision making, the more chance of it being followed through with agreement and ownership. Since opinions, as against choices are voiced out, the process of decision making is less biased and the decision made will be more balanced. When faced with a number of options, the process of decision analysis takes a structured approach.
Here is a flowchart by University of Baltimore which provides a structured approach to decision analysis.
- Identifying the situation and understanding the objectives is the critical step towards decision analysis.
- Then suitable alternatives or different choices are to be identified.
- A model should be built which best describes the problem.
- Through discussions, the best alternative should be chosen and its feasibility should be discussed.
- If deemed fit, the choice can be implemented.
Decision analysis is one of the key tools in modern day businesses involving a team or a group. It is widely accepted, tested and trusted by corporations across the world for its credibility and simplicity.