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             26 November, 2020
 

    
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Making Decisions - Specifying Decision Criteria

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2008-03-25 06:19:37     
Article by Kevin Moriarity

You have a big decision to make. What criteria should you use to decide?

Decision criteria, or factors, are the specific measures that you will use to determine which alternative is your best choice. It is important to identify all the factors relevant to your decision if you want to do a thorough job. While it may be tempting to say that you cannot have too many factors, that may not be true. Too many factors may make the decision process so overwhelming that you may not get through it. However, irrelevant factors have a way of exposing themselves pretty early in the process. They may not be truly measurable, or the information required may not be available.

It is also important to rank each factor. Factors are not equal in their importance. Your decision process must take this into account. An alternative may "fail" a particular factor, but that factor may be so low in terms of importance that it does not rule out that alternative.

Take the factors that are relevant to your decision and assign a desired value to each of them. It helps if you can think of the factors in simple terms: the factor target as a number, or a Yes / No answer, or as a value on a scale from 1 - 5. This is not completely necessary, but it does allow you to objectively compare the factor's desired value with the alternatives' actual values in a methodical way. For example, you can use a scale to assign a value to something like "college reputation", with 1 being lousy to 5 being best in the country.

Next, record what the actual values are for each factor, for each of the alternatives you are considering. For some factors, each perspective (a perspective is anyone who has an opinion or stake in the outcome of the decision) may have a different score for each alternative.

Lastly, look at the factor's desired values and the alternative's actual values and determine the best fit by perspective. This process will tell you which alternative is preferred by perspective. If your decision's perspectives prefer different alternatives, you have a solid basis to discuss the differences and arrive at the appropriate choice. If you're lucky, everyone agrees on the same alternative. If so, congratulations!

Factors are a very important part of the decision making process. Take the time to figure out what they are and which are the most important. You will not regret it.

If you would like more information and tools to help you with decision making, visit http://www.yoopersoft.com

Specialized in: Decision - Decision Making - Deciding - Decision Assistance Software - Smarter Decisions - Help With - Choose - Choosing - Pick - Picking - Select - Selecting - Help With Choosing - Help With Picking - Help With Selecting - Help With Deciding - Coaching - House Hunting
URL: http://www.yoopersoft.com
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