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:

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