At it's simplest, formal decision making is following a series of steps to collect and analyze information (Nutt, 2002). When synthesized, this information reveals alternatives that are subsequently weighed by the decision maker.
When framing large scale decisions, organizations should take care to keep their vision, mission, and beliefs at the heart of the process. Many initiatives fail due to poor organizational planning. Organizations will benefit from an understanding of existing decision making frameworks, taking care to maximize the benefits and avoid the pitfalls of each. Click here for more details on decision making frameworks.
Formal decision making begins with a problem statement and takes into consideration the following components:
- Organizational objectives
- Possible alternatives
- Existing research
- Costs (expenditures and resource costs)
Each alternative is evaluated for it's likelihood to meet the existing objectives. At this point the decision maker can make a mindful, informed decision that is most likely to benefit the organization.
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