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:

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