“Decision making is an art and a science” Patrick T. Harker
Managers and leaders of small, medium and large businesses in all the different sectors, have one big issue in common: taking decisions. They have to address daily a myriad of issues, problems, dynamics that require them to take decisions from day to day operational issues, to long-term strategic planning. The decision making process in an organization, is one of the most challenging and strategic functions of managers and leaders. Therefore, understanding the process of managerial decision making is an essential task to improve the decision making effectiveness.
Identify problems and Seek information
The first action to take, is to recognize the decisions to be made in order to solve and address the main issues. Yet, to do this, managers should look for and collect all sort of information on the issues, both internally and externally. In this case, tools such as the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and PEST (political, economic, social, technological environments) analysis can be very helpful to have all the information needed to evaluate the problems, external influences, consequences or opportunities, people and processes involved.
Brainstorm solutions and Choose an Alternative
Once managers have acquired a better understanding of the issue, they should start to act upon it. During brainstorming session, where also other people are involved, the possible solutions should be listed. This brainstorming process can take just few minutes or even months, depending on the nature of the decisions to be take and the problems to be addressed. From this list, the pros and cons of every option should be evaluated, so that the best option can be clearly chosen. In this delicate moment, outside advice could bring new perspectives on the problem and the potential solutions.
Implement the plan
Having decided for the best solutions, it is necessary to implement the decision taken and the actions planned. In other words, put your decisions into practice, involving all your employees.
Even the most experienced managers cannot predict the outcomes of the decisions taken. For this reason, monitoring systems are fundamental to track the success or failure of strategic decisions and plans. Be ready to adapt and adjust your plan as necessary, or to switch to another potential solution, if the outcomes are not satisfying.
Overall, knowing how to take smarter decisions is crucial for managers and leaders nowadays. For this reason, the productivity scenario Smarter Decisions is a perfect tool to help decision makers in their daily challenge.