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13 Dec '11

The decision making checklist

Posted by T.J. Addington in decision making
Decision making is an art based on good input and good thinking. In any critical decision the following checklist can be helpful to understand the risks and opportunities in the decision.


1. When does the decision need to be made? My philosophy is to wait until the decision needs to be made before pulling the trigger. The more time  I have to "think grey" the more of the implications I can discover.


2. Who will the decision impact? Decision makers often do not think carefully about who will be most impacted by the decision. Be sure you know exactly who will be affected and how?


3. What will the push back be? There is always push back to a critical decision - change is uncomfortable. Brainstorm about the push back you are likely to encounter so that your explanation can answer as many questions up front as possible.


4. What is the upside? Decisions are made because there is some advantage to them. Can you articulate clearly the positive impact that the decision will have for your organization?


5. What are the potential unintended consequences? To the best of your ability, identify the consequences of your decision and even what the unintended consequences might be.


6. Who needs to be consulted? The best decisions are made in consultation with others. Who can speak into your proposed action and bring greater clarity or even alternatives to the table?


7. What is the roll out process for informing people? Process is as important as the decision itself. One may have a brilliant idea but run a bad process leaving people with a bad taste in their mouth regarding the decision. Make sure you know how you are going to process people.


8. Should there be dialogue with the affected people? Once you have your ducks in a row and before the decision goes into affect, is there a forum to dialogue with impacted parties to answer questions and concerns in a non-defensive way.


9. If people have concerns, who should they contact? Make sure there is a place to go with ongoing concerns or questions.