Decision Making Methods

Decision Making Methods

M. Govindarajan (Annamalai University, India)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5202-6.ch064
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Introduction

First priority in making a decision is to establish who are the decision-maker(s) and stakeholders in the decision - the audience for the decision. Identifying the decision-maker(s) early in the process cuts down on disagreement about problem definition, requirements, goals, and criteria. Although the decision-maker(s) seldom will be involved in the day-to-day work of making evaluations, feedback from the decision-maker(s) is vital at four steps in the process:

  • 1.

    Problem definition.

  • 2.

    Requirements identification.

  • 3.

    Goal establishment.

  • 4.

    Evaluation criteria development.

When appropriate, stakeholders should also be consulted. By acquiring their input during the early steps of the decision process, stakeholders can provide useful feedback before a decision is made. Usually the decision support staff should include the help of skilled and experienced analysts/facilitators to assist with all stages of the decision process. Expert facilitation can help assure that all the steps are properly performed and documented. Their experience and expertise will help provide transparency to the decision making process and help avoid misunderstandings that often lead to questions about the validity of the analyses which ultimately slow progress.

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Main Focus

The chapter mainly focuses on an eight step decision-making process and descriptions of specific decision making methods.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Goals: Goals are broad statements of intent and desirable programmatic values. Goals go beyond the minimum essential must haves (i.e. requirements) to wants and desires .

Alternatives: Alternatives offer different approaches for changing the initial condition into the desired condition.

Scoring: This scoring (a systematic method for handling and communicating information) provides a common language and approach that removes decision making from the realm of personal preference or idiosyncratic behavior.

Requirements: Requirements are conditions that any acceptable solution to the problem must meet.

Criteria: Decision criteria, which will discriminate among alternatives, must be based on the goals. It is necessary to define discriminating criteria as objective measures of the goals to measure how well each alternative achieves the goals.

Decision Making: Decision making is the study of identifying and choosing alternatives based on the values and preferences of the decision maker. Making a decision implies that there are alternative choices to be considered, and in such a case we want not only to identify as many of these alternatives as possible but to choose the one that best fits with our goals, objectives, desires, values, and so on.

Problem Statement: problem statement that describes both the initial conditions and the desired conditions.

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