Generating Decision Options

Posted on May 5 2009

In making decisions, one step of any process used is generating decision options or alternatives. Many people get “stuck” in the decision making process because they either don’t have a list of acceptable alternatives, or they don’t know how to generate decision options.

Here are a few options, starting with the two easiest:

–Consider first the status quo – there is always an option to continue with current solution

–Consider doing nothing – is there really a need to do something now. Do the impacts of doing something now counterweigh the costs?

–Look at the other methods of cause : “method”, “machine”, “environment” – challenge the status quo.

–Involve other people inside and outside your organization when looking for options. Consider forming a group

–Take time to brainstorm with your team to come up with new and innovative insights.

–Ask yourself, if the current way of doing things becomes unusable, what would we do?

–How, if you were the team leader, would you start to make improvements? Have you tried a SWOT analysis or a PEST ?

–Could we begin to examine our objectives in a more productive or creative way? Can we be generating decision options more creatively?

–What do you think our competitors do in this area that we could aim to do better? Have we considered this like Porters Five Forces ?

–Look at options others have discovered in similar circumstances

–Reject options if their disadvantages have become clear – document the reasons

–Don’t deal with too many options – create a decision option list

–Don’t assume which options were viable in the past make good sense now

–Don’t keep an option open if most people have rejected it

We’ve given you a few ways to begin generating decision options that you can start using today. If you are still looking for answers, our DECIDE GUIDES are full of custom-built questions for specific decision making situations, and are sure to guide you to many generating-decision-options that you will not have considered.

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