Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Decide like Benjamin Franklin - List your pro and cons

To Joseph Priestley

London, September 19, 1772

Dear Sir,

In the Affair of so much Importance to you, wherein you ask my Advice, I cannot for want of sufficient Premises, advise you what to determine, but if you please I will tell you how.

When these difficult Cases occur, they are difficult chiefly because while we have them under Consideration all the Reasons pro and con are not present to the Mind at the same time; but sometimes one Set present themselves, and at other times another, the first being out of Sight. Hence the various Purposes or Inclinations that alternately prevail, and the Uncertainty that perplexes us.

To get over this, my Way is, to divide half a Sheet of Paper by a Line into two Columns, writing over the one Pro, and over the other Con. Then during three or four Days Consideration I put down under the different Heads short Hints of the different Motives that at different Times occur to me for or against the Measure. When I have thus got them all together in one View, I endeavour to estimate their respective Weights; and where I find two, one on each side, that seem equal, I strike them both out: If I find a Reason pro equal to some two Reasons con, I strike out the three. If I judge some two Reasons con equal to some three Reasons pro, I strike out the five; and thus proceeding I find at length where the Ballance lies; and if after a Day or two of farther Consideration nothing new that is of Importance occurs on either side, I come to a Determination accordingly.

And tho' the Weight of Reasons cannot be taken with the Precision of Algebraic Quantities, yet when each is thus considered separately and comparatively, and the whole lies before me, I think I can judge better, and am less likely to take a rash Step; and in fact I have found great Advantage from this kind of Equation, in what may be called Moral or Prudential Algebra.

Wishing sincerely that you may determine for the best, I am ever, my dear Friend,

Yours most affectionately

B. Franklin


Monday, January 2, 2012

Comparing Different Decision Processes

When comparing the different decision processes for optional tasks, this is the result:

You can see from the table, that the processes vary from 2 to 8 steps. In total, there are 15 different steps listed in order to make all processes comparable.

The processes are broken down in a frontend, middle part and backend. The frontend is about the planning and defining the decision, the middle part is about making the selection and the end part is about implementing the selected choice and reviewing the results. The middle part is mostly populated, while the frontend is covered more than the backend. The more steps, the more likely there is a contents for the backend. While many discuss the success of the decision based on the implementation, nearly half of the processes never cover the implementation.

From the steps with the lowest counts per occurrence, the point select decision method and develop an implementation plan/identify potential blocks are the one, that caught my attention. In my view, the 15 different tasks are not equally important, but all are required to make a very good decision.

Here are the different decision processes for choosing options described in more detail:
More information about different decision making processes: List of all reviewed decision-making processes.

Six Step Decision-Making Process (Daft)

Here is the graphic representation of the decision making process:
Six Step Decision-Making Process by Daft

Step 1: Recognition of decision requirement.
A decision requirement can be based on a problem or an opportunity. Managers scan the environment regularly, to identify whether there are internal or external factors that require decision action.

Step 2: Diagnosis and analysis of causes.
You will refine your understanding of the actual situation and identify the root causes.

Step 3: Development of alternatives. 
Next step is to generate alternatives solutions that will respond to the needs of the situation and correct the underlying causes.

Step 4: Selection of desired alternative. 
Choose best alternative which is the solution that best fits the overall goals and values of the organization and achieves the desired results using the fewest resources.

Step 5: Implementation of chosen alternative.
This stage involves the use of managerial, communication, administrative, and persuasive abilities to ensure the choice is carried out. The success of a decision is based on how it is implemented. 

Step 6: Evaluation and feedback.
Gather information that tells you whether it was effective in achieving its goals and how well the decision was implemented. Feedback is the part of monitoring that assesses whether a new decision needs to be made, and if so it will help them get back on track.

The process is a good list of verbal phrases of activities, but no clear activity titles, also each can be changed into a verb. The front end and the backend are complete in my opinion. The middle part is rather thin in the evaluation of criteria how to select the best alternative. 

More information about different decision making processes: List of all reviewed decision-making processes. See the comparison of the optional decision-making methods for further study.

Here is a link to the book from Daft, which describes this six step decision making process in more detail:

Seven Step Decision-Making Process

Here is a graphical representation of the seven step decision-making process:
Seven step decision-making process

Step 1: Define the decision you want to make.
Focus and narrow the decision to something that is clear and specific—and where we have real choices. What method of decision making will we use (intuitive or rational/analytical)?

  • Narrow the decision: Develop a decision statement that is specific, narrow, and within our sphere of influence and action.
  • Identify whom to involve: Who has key information essential to an effective understanding of the issue that needs addressing? Who will be expected to implement whatever decisions are made?

Step 2: Define your desired outcomes, strategic objectives, and higher purpose. 
When the decision is made, what will the short-term solution look like? What are your desired objectives and outcomes. What is your strategic objective in making this decision? How does this decision relate to the vision and strategic goals? What higher purpose or long-term goal will be achieved through making this decision?
  • Identify measures of success: How will you know that the decision you have made is the right one? How will you measure the quality of the final decision? How will you evaluate the outcome’s contribution to the organization’s strategic agenda?
  • Sort out “musts” and “wants”: Review the list of objectives and outcomes and identify those that are must objectives (characteristics that the eventual solution must have or must satisfy) and those that are want objectives (desirable characteristics, but not required). Rank-order the wants from most to least important and assign values to each (10 = most important; 1 = least important).

Step 3: Identify decision alternatives and options. 
Identify at least three or four possible decision alternatives. If there are no alternatives, then your decision is whether to implement your only option.

Step 4: Select the best alternative. 
Apply the musts and weighted wants criteria. The best alternative satisfies all the musts and is best at satisfying the wants.

Step 5: Identify potential roadblocks and setbacks. 
What are the possible forces, factors, events, or constraints that may inhibit progress in successfully implementing the decision?

Step 6: Develop an action/implementation plan. 
What actions should you take to implement the selected decision? What actions will you take to proactively respond to potential roadblocks and, therefore, protect our plan? Who is responsible for taking the specified actions? When will the actions occur?

Step 7: Implement the plan, monitor progress, and revise the plan. 
Implement the plan and monitor the results. Are you seeing the desired results? What actions need to be revised? What new actions should take place? What should you keep doing?

This seven step process is a complete process description based on described activities. The frontend description is complete, looking at the definition and the linkage with higher level decisions such as a strategy. The act of choosing the best option is described in detail, a simple evaluation framework is described. The use of must and want criteria is good. The use of a more elaborate evaluation scheme would be beneficial in the process. The end with identifying roadblocks, planning and executing the implementation is rather complete, but misses a final review for your own learning.

The process works well for up to 10 want criteria, otherwise the ranking is impossible, since the values only range from 10 to 0. 

More information about different decision making processes: List of all reviewed decision-making processes. See the comparison of the optional decision-making methods for further study.

Here is a link to the presentation, which describes this seven step process in more detail:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Evidence Based Decision Making Process

Here is a standard description of the standard evidence based decision-making process:
Evidence Based Decision-Making Process based on Heuer
Step 1: Identify possible hypotheses

Step 2: Make a list of significant evidence for/against

Step 3: Prepare a Hypothesis X Evidence matrix

Step 4: Refine matrix
Delete evidence and arguments that have no diagnosticity

Step 5: Draw tentative conclusions about relative likelihoods
Try to disprove hypothesis

Step 6: Analyze sensitivity to critical evidential items

Step 7: Report conclusions
Identify milestones for future observations

If you compare this process to other decision making process, this process does not fit well with the other processes. While the other processes support the selection of different courses of actions, this process supports the development of a course of action and tools for making a decision with a lot of future impact. This decision making process is used in medical and intelligence fields. 

The process is described with activities in mind. It describes in clear terms, how to move forward and how to create such a decision.

The process is not very well defined in the beginning, the frontend is very fuzzy. There is no definition of a decision, no framing or whatsoever included in the process. The direction for the intermediate steps are very detailed, and looking at the wording, you can see the origin from medical and other intellectual fields. The interesting part is that you are trying to disprove a hypothesis, not try to focus on finding the supporting evidence. If the hypothesis is wrong, you will find this quickly.

While the process stops with report conclusions, there is no support for the implementation or execution of the next steps.

More information about different decision making processes: List of all reviewed decision-making processes

Here is a link to the book from Heuer, which describes this evidence based decision making process in more detail:

Eight Step Decision-Making Process

Here is the description of the eight step decision-making process:

Eight Step Decision-Making Process, Baker et al. 2002

This is a description of the process with a lot of text from the guidebook by Baker et al. 2002.

Step 1: Define the Problem

Problem definition is crucial for making a good decision. This step identifies

  • root causes, 
  • limiting assumptions, 
  • system and organizational boundaries and interfaces, and 
  • any stakeholder issues. 

A good problem definition expresses the issue in a clear, one-sentence  statement that describes both the initial conditions and the desired conditions. Everybody involved in the decision-making process needs to agree on a written problem definition before proceeding.

Step 2: Determine Requirements

Any acceptable solution to the problem must meet the requirements. Requirements describe what the solution to the problem must do.

Step 3: Establish Goals

Goals are broad statements of intent and desirable programmatic values. Examples might be: reduce
weight, lower costs, lower health risk, etc. Goals go beyond the minimum essential must have’s (i.e. requirements) to wants and desires. Goals should be stated positively (i.e. what something should do, not what it shouldn’t do).

Step 4: Identify Alternatives

Alternatives offer different approaches for changing the initial condition into the desired condition. Generally, the alternatives vary in their ability to meet the requirements and goals.

Step 5: Define Criteria
It is necessary to define discriminating criteria as objective measures of the goals to measure how well each alternative achieves the project goals. Each criterion should measure something important, and not depend on another criterion. Criteria must discriminate among alternatives in a meaningful way and  should be:

  • Complete – include all goals 
  • Operational – meaningful to the decision maker’s understanding of the implications of the alternatives
  • Non-redundant – avoid double counting
  • Few in number – to keep the problem dimensions manageable

Input from the decision-maker(s) is essential to the development of useful criteria. Moreover, the decision-maker’s approval is crucial before the criteria are used to evaluate the alternatives.

Step 6: Select a Decision-Making Tool
The method selection needs to be based on the complexity of the problem and the experience of the team. Generally, the simpler the method, the better. There are several decision-making tools available, they will be part of one of the next blog postings.

Step 7: Evaluate Alternatives against Criteria
Alternatives can be evaluated with quantitative methods, qualitative methods, or any combination. Criteria can be weighted and used to rank the alternatives. Both sensitivity and uncertainty analyses can be used to improve the quality of the selection process.

Step 8: Validate Solution(s) against Problem Statement
After the evaluation process has selected a pre- ferred alternative, the solution should be checked to ensure that it truly solves the problem identi- fied. Compare the original problem statement to the goals and requirements. A final solution should fulfill the desired state, meet requirements, and best achieve the goals within the values of the decision makers.

The eight step method describes a process with 8 activities, all using the verb noun notion. The front-end is very clearly described. The separation between requirements and goals may be fuzzy for a few criteria, but they are included in one of the two ways. The selection process is described in many detailed activities and the evaluation is linked to many possible tools and techniques.The last step is a review of the results, whether they fulfill the problem statetement. The linked decisions tools and the description is short and meaningful.

Implementation and feedback steps are completely missing in this process. The process is very complete in the front-end part of the process, but the decision execution is completely missing.

More information about different decision making processes: List of all reviewed decision-making processes. See the comparison of the optional decision-making methods for further study.

Here is a link to the book Guidebook to Decision-Making Methods from Baker et al., which describes this eight step process in more detail:

Six Step Managerial Decision-Making Process

This figures describes the six step managerial decision-making process:

Six step managerial decision-making process
The six step managerial decision-making process consists of the following six steps:

Step 1: Setting Managerial Objectives
The managerial objectives are the ends for the means of decision making and constitute the foundation for rational decision making. How you attain the objective is the measure of decision success.

Step 2: Searching for Alternatives
Searching alternatives is limited by time and money. You need to balance the rising cost of attaining additional information with the declining value of this piece of information. You need to stop the  search in the zone of cost effectiveness where the cost of additional alternatives is lower than the value of the alternative. The search result are usually three to five alternatives, with one alternative of doing nothing.

Step 3: Comparing and Evaluating Alternatives
The alternatives from step 2 are evaluated using criteria derived from the objective from step 1. The evaluation includes an anticipation of the likely outcome for each alternative and also anticipate obstacles or difficulties during implementation.

Step 4: The Act of Choice
The choice is the culmination of the process, not all of it. This step confronts the decision maker with discernible constraints. The choice is the alternative most likely to result in the achievement of the objective.

Step 5: Implementing Decisions
The decision success is a function of decision quality and decision implementation taking into consideration the operating constraints, the influence of the decision maker and the involvement of decision implementers without a conflict of interest.

Step 6: Follow-Up and Control
The "Follow-up and Control" step is essential to ensure that an implemented decision meets its objective. The performance is measured by observing the implemented decision in relation to its standard derived from the objective. Unacceptable variance from standard performance should elicit timely and appropriate corrective actions. Corrective actions may result in the implementation of another alternative, which, if not successful, may result in a revision of the original objective.

The process is another six step process with mostly action descriptions, the one voiced as a noun is using the noun "act". So this is a real process and it includes feedback loops within the process to improve the decision making, if the straight forward step process is not leading to the right results.

In the high level description, the first step is good, but nowhere the decision is really defined so the searching for alternatives can be looking at the wrong alternatives. The description in the front end of the process is good and gives general guidance on how to perform some of the steps. The step "Act of Choice" is overrated in my opinion, the description for implementing decisions (why, by the way, are there multiple decisions implemented?) is not describing the process but how to measure the success. The feedback and control step is a major step to help check for the quality of decision.

More information about different decision making processes: List of all reviewed decision making processes. See the comparison of the optional decision-making methods for further study.

Here is a link to the book from E. Frank Harrison, which describes this six step process in more detail:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Five Step Decision-Making Process

Here is the five step process from the book "Smart Choices" by Hammond, Keeney, Raiffa:

5 Step Process by Hammond, Keeney, Raiffa
The process with five steps can be described with the following steps:

Step 1: Work on the right decision PRoblem
Step 2: Specify your Objectives
Step 3: Create imaginative Alternatives
Step 4: Understand the Consequences
Step 5: Grapple with your Tradeoffs

You can use the word PROACT as a quick reminder of the main process steps. By looking at uncertainties, risk tolerances and linked decisions, you can ensure, that you make a complete decision.

The process is sound. From a good introduction into the decision problem definition to determining what you want to achieve, the start is very sound. Looking at the options and increasing them, while looking at the consequences helps you to understand the effects of your choice. At the point of looking at the tradeoffs, you are trying to find a solution. The description is pointing at ranking of choices and option tables for documenting pros and cons.

The process is a very complete start of the decision making process. The frontend is very clear, but the end is very thin. There is no part dealing with the execution, the planning of the execution and a review is missing completely. The support for making a choice is very limited and only a subpart of the Tradeoff step.

Here is a link to the book from Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa, which describes this PROACT five step process in more detail:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Six Step Decision-Making Process

Here is a decision-making process based on the works from March and Simon

Six step decision-making process based on March/Simon
The description for this process is as follows:

Step 1. Recognize Need for a Decision
The need for a decision can be sparked by an event such as environment changes. The events can be internal or external. Whether it is proactive or reactive, it is imperative that managers immediately recognize this need and respond in a timely and appropriate manner.
Step 2. Generate Alternatives
The managers must develop feasible alternative courses of action. If good alternatives are missed, the resulting decision is poor. It is hard to develop creative alternatives, so managers need to look for new ideas.
Step 3. Evaluate Alternatives
What are the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative? Managers specify criteria, then evaluate. Successful managers use four criteria to evaluate the pros and cons of alternative courses of action:
  • Practicality
  • Economic feasibility
  • Ethicalness
  • Legality

Often a manager must consider these four criteria simultaneously. Some of the worst managerial decisions can be traced to poor assessment of the alternatives.
Step 4. Choose Among Alternatives
Managers rank the various alternatives and make a decision. Managers must be sure all the information available is brought to bear on the problem or issue at hand
Step 5. Implement Chosen Alternative
Managers must now carry out the alternative. Often a decision is made and not implemented.
Step 6. Learn From Feedback
Managers should consider what went right and wrong with the decision and learn for the future.
Without feedback, managers do not learn from experience and will repeat the same mistake over.

As you can see, all the steps describe activities. The first step, identifying when a decision is needed, is interesting and more a requirement than a real process step. The decision or the objectives are never defined. The generation of alternatives, the evaluation is described and the choosing process based on a ranking. The execution of the decision is another key point, as well as learning from feedback. From the number of steps, only three deal with making the decision, while the first one is identifying the need and the last two with the execution and learning from the decision.

The process is more complete than other described processes, is good on the feedback loop and implementation, but has a very fuzzy frontend and limited decision definition steps.

Here is a link to the book from March and Simon, which describes this six step process in more detail:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Four Step Decision-Making Process

Another four step decision-making process:

Decision-Making Process by Turban, Aronson, and Liang

The process described here is directed at computer supported decision making. Intelligence is collecting information, design the process to generate a decision support system, choice the support for selecting the right solution and implementation the execution of the choice.

1 Intelligence: Collecting information, scanning reports, queries, comparisons
2 Design: Creativity, find and develop alternative solutions for the decision, create a model to support the decision making
3 Choice: Finalize the model, compare and select, perform sensitivity analysis
4 Implementation: Put solution into action

The overall process is described in general steps. The four steps are not really labeled with actions. The description of the underlying activities is not very clear from the high level.

The process is geared toward the use of computer aided decision tools. The design phase will be more important for the system supporting the decision making than for the alternative solutions.The border between design and choice is somewhat fuzzy, since it not really clear, where the solution design and where the model design end. The list of activities is much more telling than the steps, the step labels are more informative than in the 2 Step Process.

Here is a link to the book from Turban et al, which describes this 4 Step Process in more detail:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Another 2 Step Approach in Decision-Making

In the series of different decision making processes, this process is called a 2 step process. Using the standard process description with this process is difficult.
2 Step Decision Making Process (Source McGrath)
The main process steps are clearly labeled.

Step 1 contains the activities Define decision, Time Frame, Objective and Alternatives. As you can see, the step 1 is a preparation step. Define, what the decision is about is a very important step. The time frame helps you to manage the effort you are taking to get to the decision. The objective tells you what you want to achieve. Listing alternatives is a clear next step.

After Step 1 and before Step 2 the three activities Consider, Research, Evaluate are listed. All three activities are important to move forward.

Step 2 contains three activities: New alternatives, Assumptions, Decide. The point of new alternatives is a int, that during such a process, you may come up with an innovative new solution. The assumptions will help you make clear, what has been assumed during decision making. The last step is decide.

In my opinion, this process contains a lot more activities and logical contents for a decision making than the classical approach. The key points for good decision making are included. It also takes into account, that you should not make all decisions right away. The gap between the steps highlights, that sleeping over a big decision is a good practice.

The label two step is in my opinion a misnomer. The process is a three step process, the labels for the processes are too broad and too much of a label than a description. The activities are not clearly identified as activities(No verb noun description for an activity). For example, you are not clear, whether you should set the time frame, review it or decide about it. The only part with only activities is the none step in the process description between the two steps which are only verb based names. If you want to be in line with the other process descriptions, this is rather a ten step/activity process.

I tend to differ on the sequence of activities. I want to include all activities in the evaluation, not exclude the new alternatives from it. I want to document the assumptions at the beginning. The Decide activity is an interesting point: The whole process is a decision process, so in this point the process becomes recursive.

More information: List of all reviewed decision making processes. See the comparison of the optional decision-making methods for further study.

Here is a link to the book from Mike McGrath, which describes the 2 Step Process in more detail:

The Classical Approach to Decision-Making

The classical approach is described in a three step process:
1. You collect all possible choices for your definition. Identify what are possible solutions and review what will happen, if you choose one of these consequences. At the end of the first step, you should have a list of all viable options.
2. Now rank the options. Use your personal preferences to guide you through these options. At the end of this step, you have a ranked list of options, with the best option on the top of the list.
3. Now select the best alternative, which should be the one on the top of the list. This should lead you to the future that you wanted to have.

This process is a short summary of the overall process and contains a high level summary of your decision steps. The process is clearly directed at one person deciding and the description is very vague in many parts.

In my opinion, this process is to high a level to be helpful. Some of the key problems of decision making are not clearly addressed. Especially the ranking step is an easy description, but really hard to do. When you are done with the ranking, the third step is automatically done.

While the process is simple and right, it is not very helpful for many more complicated decisions. It is so generic, that you may always find it to be applicable, if you are able to rank the options.

Decision making - which process to use?

You have multiple options to make decisions according to a series of authors, books and experts. I have compiled many different approaches - from a simple two step to elaborate multi-step processes.

The different process versions will be shown in a standard process description, a short explanation of the steps and then be discussed in detail.

Here are the different decision processes for choosing options:
An alternative decision making process is here:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stuck in Decision Making - How to Unblock and Move on

Sometimes, the decision making is cumbersome. You ponder all available options, you want to understand all implications. You do not know how to progress the decision. It could be this or that, or wait,...

It all boils down that you have no idea how to get the decision made.

Solution 1: Roll the dice

If you have several options, just roll the dice - or if you have only two options, throw a coin. Number all your options. If you have less than six, this works best. If you have more than six, take two dice, but roll them in sequence and have 1-1, 1-2 til 1-6, 2-1, 2-2, ... until 6-6 as options, since 1 to 12 numbers are not evenly distributed. When there are numbers shown without a corresponding option, just roll the dice again, if the dice show a number that you have not included in your option list.

If you can accept the solution that you have taken - really by chance - than you are done. Decision made. Move on.

If you cannot accept this solution, do not directly roll the dice again. Review carefully, why you do not like the option. Forced with taking an unwanted option you tend to find some reasons that you had not considered beforehand. If this is an important point, add it to your evaluation list and reevaluate the other options as well. Sometimes, many other options disappear and you have one choice left, that fulfills all your evaluation criteria.

If you really cannot live with the solution picked by the dice and there are several other options, take out the option from your decision base and rerun the process again.

We are used to random picking of choices from early on, it is a simple acceptable solution for everyone. It is fast, if it works, it forces you to rethink the options, if you do not want to accept the result.

Solution 2: Make a preliminary decision

Sometimes, you can avoid the hassle with finding the dice and make the decision by taking one option tentatively and run through the consequences what would happen, if you take this decision. Mentally take the decision and kick the tires. Test in your head, if the options would work, review the results and ensure that it is the right decision. If you are in doubt, carefully review, why you are in doubt and use this to create further evaluation criteria.

This may work well in hiring, staffing or promotion situations. Imagine, which of the candidates would work well in the future environment. Sometimes, you can see clearly, how the different personalities and capabilities will work out. In other times, you do not have any idea. Than it may be worthwhile to create a project or task assignment that will help you to see a clearer picture.

Solution 3: Break down the decision in parts

The last possibility is to break won the decision into smaller parts that are easier to make. Sometimes you can break down the ten choices in three to four groups of similar options and it is easier to make the decision about the group and then decide in the smaller selection of the group. This works especially well, if you are overwhelmed with the sheer number of options. 

If you want to buy a car and you look at the 20 different car makes, you may be able to break the decision down into a grouping - American car, European car or Asian car - and decide first on the general idea and then select between the different models. Or you could decide based on an important criteria for the use of the car, something like the gas mileage.

Getting unstuck means taking a different approach

If you are not changing your approach, you will not solve your problems. Use one of the three solutions mentioned above and you will find a good possibility to move on. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Solving decision-making problems

Decision-Making is hard work. How often do we procrastinate on making decisions? Wait, wait, maybe we know more tomorrow! Or another day ...

One of the key issues is missing decisiveness. Making decisions is hard, because we are not well trained to decide. Although we know many decision-making tools, they are seldomly used. Why? Because we all do not concentrate on decision making and getting better at it. Like a top athlete, we need to train and prepare our decision making skills. Plus we need to review our decision-making performance.

Getting better at decision making

How many of you keep a list of todos? Do you keep a list of all the decisions required by you and by when? If you create an inventory of the necessary decisions, you are all of a sudden astonished: You are making many more decisions than you are aware. But you are definitely aware of the decisions that you are delaying or which feel difficult or those where you do not like the outcome.

Solving decision-making problems is a challenging task requiring more decisions and a standard approach:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

About Clear Decisions

Clear Decisions is a blog by management consultant Torsten Becker. Torsten has experience in numerous projects in software development, product development, supply chain and in line management positions. Based on over 20 years of work experience, Torsten uses this blog to help the readers to make better decisions.

Decision-Making Search Trends

When looking at the Google Trends for the term decision making, there are some interesting trends to identify. The following chart was created comparing the terms decision making and change management.

The diagrams depicts the relative search volume for the two terms on a weekly basis.


Decisions are hard or very hard. But we have to decide continuously:
  • select what to wear in the morning 
  • select the right lane on the way to work 
  • prioritize tasks for the day
  • select food at lunch
  • select the right architecture
  • decide on the new marketing campaign
  • decide what team event to plan
  • choose a theme for the next company outing

What is a decision?

Wikipedia defines a decision as "... the selection between possible actions ...".  A decision helps to set a course of actions. In order to be able to decide, you must be in a situation where the two ore more alternative actions and you need to choose one over the other. Decision making is the process of selecting.