The Basics of Using a Decision-Making Framework

6 Mins

Using a decision-making framework helps you make deliberate decisions by organizing relevant information and assessing alternatives.

Decision-making frameworks have limitations. They don’t account for bias, for example. But they can be a good place to start when making tough decisions.

There are many decision-making frameworks, but here’s a simple one to use:

1. Gather information

Gather as much information as you can about the decision you have to make. Who will it affect? What will it cost?

Be inclusive when you gather information. Get perspectives from people of different backgrounds and who have different roles in your company.

2. Uncover all of your feasible options

There are always more than two options when you make a decision. Try to understand all of your feasible options before you make a decision.

3. Decide, then test

Decision-making doesn’t end with your decision.

Evaluate your decision and make the changes necessary to make it work.

For example, if you were deciding what to have for lunch, you might:

Gather information: What have I eaten recently? What kind of lunch do I enjoy?

Uncover your options: I know that I can eat at the sushi place, I can bring my lunch, etc.

Decide, then test: Go have sushi, and decide if you like it and would eat there again.

All decision-making frameworks have limitations.

They don't account for bias, emotion, or the energy it takes to make lots of tough decisions. But they can give you a roadmap for making decisions.

Time for a quiz.

Jolene needs to decide an employee’s sales goals for the quarter. She gathers information from people throughout her organization and comes up with two choices: keep the goals the same or raise them. She chooses to keep the sales goals the same.

A few weeks into the quarter, she checks in with the salesperson to see how close she is to meeting her goal. What could Jolene have done differently?

Quiz 1 of 1

What could Jolene have done differently?

She could have gathered more information.
She could have tested her decision sooner.
She could have made her decision more quickly.
She could have come up with more options.

Answer D: She could have come up with more options.

There are always more than two options to any decision.

Decision-making frameworks shouldn’t be your only tools for making decisions.

But they’re a good start, and the one provided in this lesson will ensure that you're doing three key things: gathering information, uncovering options, and testing your decision.

Lesson complete