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:

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