Breaking down the most difficult challenges in the world into manageable steps can help you overcome them. Once you have completed one step, you will be motivated to move on to the next. You can simply start over if a step fails.
Every job role requires you to make decisions. The impact and scale of a decision will vary depending on the level you are at and what your designation is. It is no longer subjective to make a decision, but a data-driven and thought-through process.
The 7-step business decision making process is an effective way to achieve your business goals. Although you may not be aware of some of the steps, you will be more successful and efficient if you follow each step in sequence.
These are the seven steps involved with the decision-making process.
Step 1: Determine the exact decision that you need to make
Although it may seem simple, it is often the most difficult step. The first step in solving a problem involves identifying the root cause.
Problems are simply a different situation or reaction to what you are used too. You need to make decisions in such situations that will help you get back on the right track or move forward significantly.
There are many reasons why a problem could arise:
You should always be looking for new opportunities that will allow you to enhance or upgrade your offerings in order to stay ahead.
You may be threatened by new competitors or new offerings made by existing competitors.
Non-compliance to your existing plan
Your business may be affected by forces beyond your control
Take this example. Your organisation has a high employee turnover rate, despite all efforts to create a safe work environment. This could be due to better opportunities or higher pay grades. There may be many reasons why employees leave your company. This is something you should identify before trying to find a solution.
Step 2: Gather pertinent information
People tend to look too hard for the right answer when faced with a problem. Instead of asking the right questions, they are more likely to seek out the wrong answers. You might believe that rigid work hours are the reason why more employees leave. Flexible working hours are the solution to this problem. But, without solid proof, it wouldn’t be the best way to go.
This stage is where you should gather as much information possible. You will need to examine patterns in exit interviews, when people leave, and other factors that might have influenced former employees’ decisions. These are some questions you can ask:
Is there any evidence that the problem exists?
Where and when did it appear to originate?
Which processes, teams, and individuals are closer to the problem area?
How serious are the implications for your short-term and longer-term business goals?
This step is about challenging assumptions. If you’re involved in a process for too many years, you can assume that this is how most people work. This can cause a bias in your brain that can cloud your objectivity or judgment. To gather the relevant information, it is important to speak to as many people and teams as possible. It is important to take into account if too many people leave during a certain time, such as at the end of the financial years.
Step 3: Recognize alternatives and other options
You will discover that there are always multiple solutions to any problem once you start gathering information. This is why the third step is so important. Once you have identified the options, you must establish a set of criteria that will help you choose the best method for your business goals.
These are some of the criteria that successful managers use: