GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE DECISION MAKING

Decision making is an arduous task. A successful and correct decision isgratifying to the decision maker but he also experiences frustration when he faces ill structuredand uncertain situations and when his decision fails to achieve the decisionobjectives. Yet, managers must make decisions as it is their most importantresponsibility to their organization. They cannot afford to display an attitude of “sailingaround the world without landing”, and “talking about a subject without getting it”. Thesuccess of an executive depends on his ability to make the right decision at the righttime and to pursue its effective implementation. The following guidelines are offered asan aid to effective decision making.

 

  1. 1.      Define the Goals

 

The decision maker should define the goals that he seeks to achieve by making adecision. The goal of a decision is derived from his objectives which in tum are a part ofthe total organizational objectives. Thus, the goal of a decision should be compatiblewith and contribute to larger goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 2.      Ensure that the Decision Contributes to the Goal

 

Once the goal has been determined, it becomes the criterion for making thedecisions, as well as for evaluating its results. Often, an executive seeks to achieve notone but more than one goals through a decision. For example, the goal of a marketing Decision Making decision may be not only to increase the sales volume but also increase the profitmargin. These goals may not always be compatible. It requires the decision maker tobalance the conflicting goals in such a manner that he can achieve all the goalssimultaneously.

 

  1. 3.      Adopt a Diagnostic Approach

 

A decision maker has to be a diagnostician in many ways. He has to identify anddefine the problem. Further, he has to diagnose what and how much information isrelevant to the problem being attacked, and where he will get it. Development andevaluation of alternative also require diagnostic abilities. He also has to diagnose thesurrounding situation comprising the internal and external environmental forces. Thus,effectiveness in decision making significantly depends on an executive’s diagnosticabilities.

 

  1. 4.      Involve Subordinates in Decision Making Process

 

Involvement of subordinates in decision making process serves many purposes.It improves the quality of the decision, particularly if the decision maker does notpossess all the special abilities required for making a particular decision. It is morelikely to happen than not, as every decision has several aspects such as administrators,technical, human relations and financial aspects. The most important stage at whichsubordinates’ participation can enhance the decision quality is the stage of developmentand evaluation of alternative solutions to problems. Their participation can bring notonly new insights to the problem. but also elicit their commitment to implement thedecision. Those who participate in making a decision tend to become ego involved in it,and thereby committed to its successful implementation.

 

  1. 5.      Ensure successful implementation of the Decision

 

Even the best decision will not yield satisfactory results unless it is implementedeffectively. Successful implementation of a decision significantly depends on the extentof understanding of the decision and its implications, and motivation of the subordinateswho have to carry it. An executive can enhance his effectiveness in both these directionsby promoting upward communication. He should also be able to know when and whatkind of guidance is needed by them, and be willing to extend it to those who need it. Hecan be more effective if he successfully welds his subordinates into a team with himselfas the team leader.

 

  1. 6.      Evaluate the Results

 

The purpose of a decision is to accomplish some goal which will not be attainedwithout it. The results of the decision should, therefore, be evaluated in terms of itspredetermined goals.

 

  1. 7.      Be Flexible

 

The decision maker should adopt a flexible approach not only in making thedecision but also after the decision has been put into implementation. If it is not yieldingthe desired results, he should modify, discard, or replace it with another decision whichmay produce better results.