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Decision making is an integral part of modern management. Fundamentally rational or sound decisions subconsciously or consciously making it as the critical component in the role of a manager. Decisions play essential roles as they determine both organizational and managerial activities. A choice can be defined as a course of action purpose chosen from a set of alternatives to achieve organizational or administrative objectives or gals. Decision making and problem-solving are an ongoing process of evaluating situations or problems, considering options, making choices and following them up with the necessary actions. Step one is to define the problem. Step two identify limiting factors, step three develop potential alternatives, step four analyze the other options, step five select the best choices, step six implement the decision, and step seven establish a control and evaluation system.
The thought process of selecting a logical choice from the available options, when trying to make a right decision, a person must weigh the positives and negatives of each option, and consider all the alternatives for useful decision makings, a person must be able to forecast the outcome of each choice as well and based on all these items, determine which option is the best for that situation.
Defining the problem. Ask “why” to get the heart of the problem. Asking “why” is a good way to delve deeper into the problem. Keep asking yourself “why” until you can’t think of anything else to say about the problem. Identify what you already know about the problem. If you are working with a group of people to define a problem, then have everyone in the group do the same. List the information you know or write it in full sentences. Identify limiting factors. When decision time comes there are always limiting items that come into play. Knowing the limits and constraints will improve your decision making by placing boundaries around the extends of what could be done. When defining what you can do you have to consider what you cannot do. Developing potential alternatives. Look at your problem in different ways; find a new perspective that you haven’t thought of before. Brainstorming or rapid noting of alternatives no matter how silly, is an excellent discovery process. Once you have listed or mapped alternatives, be open to their possibilities. After listing possible alternatives evaluate them without prejudice no matter how appealing or distasteful.
Analyze the alternatives. When you’re satisfied that you have a good selection of realistic options. It’s time to evaluate the feasibility, risks, and implications of each one. Almost every decision involves some degree of risk. Other considerations are whether your resources are adequate, the solution matches your objectives, and the decision is likely to work in the long term. Select the best alternatives. Once you’ve evaluated the other options, the next step is to make your decision. Decision tress is also useful when choosing between different options. These help you to lay options out clearly and bring the likelihood of your project succeeding or falling into the decision-making process. Implement the decision. To implement your decision, you must act on it, keep yourself on track and determine how well you’ve done. Establish a control and evaluation system. A variety of decisions must be made during an evaluation including; how the data will be a focus of the review will be, who will undertake the review, how data will be collected and analyzed, how the evaluation will be reported, and who will have access to the final report. Therefore, it is important to establish a decision-making process to ensure agreement can be reached on how decisions will be made.
Much of what people do is solve problems and make decisions. Often, they are stressed and very short for time. Consequently, when they encounter a new challenge or choice they must make, they react to a decision that seemed to work before. Its natural with this approach to get stuck in a circle of solving the same problem repeatedly. Therefore, it’s often useful to get used to a traditional method of problem-solving and decision making. Not all problems can be solved, and decisions made by the understanding, instead of a rational approach. However, the following basic guidelines will get you started. Don’t be intimidated by the length of the list of instructions. After you’ve functioned them a few times, they’ll become second nature to you, enough that you can deepen and enrich them to suit your own needs and environment.
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