Winning Decisions – Initial Assesement

I’m reading the book Winning Decisions: Getting It Right the First Time and I’ll be laying out the framework that it outlines over the next few blog posts. They correctly make the point that most managers need to make more decisions than ever, but never spend time training to make better decisions. The cost is simply too great to not do so. I’m bad about this personally and tend to have quite erratic means of making decisions – so its definitely a skill I’m looking to develop.

The basic outline is

  • Initial Assesement
  • Framing
  • Intelligence Gathering
  • Coming to Conclusions
  • Learning Lessons

In this post I’ll take a look at the questions they pose for the initial assesement.

Top 2 questions

1) What’s the crux or primary difficulty in this issue? Which of the four stages in the decision process will be most important?

2) In general, how should decisions like this one be made (eg alone or in  grous, intuitively or analytically, etc) Where do my own strengths and weaknesses lie? Where do I need help? (be honest)

Other questions

3) Must this decision be made at all? Can I delegate?

4) How much time have decisions like this taken in the past? How long should this one take? Are there deadlines? Can we negotiate them?

5) Can I proceed sequentially from framing to gathering intelligence to concluding or will I have to go back and forth?

6) Where should I concentrate my time and resources? Which stage will be most important?

7) Can I draw on feedback from related decisions and experiences I have faced to make this decision better?

8) What are my own skills, biases, and limitations in dealing with an issue like this? Do I need to bring in other points of view? Which view points would help?

9) How would a more experienced decision-maker, who I admire, handle this issue?

10) Does this deciision greatly affect other decisions? If so, what are the cross-impacts?

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