7 STEPS IN THE DECISION- MAKING PROCESS

J.O. EMMANUEL
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Decision-making is the systematic process of choosing a particular course of action to follow among the various alternatives available.

The decision-making process is comprised of 7 steps, namely; identifying the decision, gathering relevant information, identification of alternatives, analysis of alternatives, selecting alternatives, taking action, and review of the decision.

1. Identify the decisions: The first step in the decision-making process is to identify the problem that needs to be solved or the decision that needs to be made.

This stage involves determining the nature of the problem at hand and determining what decision needs to be made to address the problem.

This stage of decision-making is crucial because it sets the foundation for the rest of the decision-making process. 

If the problem or decision is not properly identified, it can lead to confusion, wasted time, and ultimately, poor decisions.

2. Gathering of relevant information: Once the problem has been identified, the next logical thing is to gather all the relevant information that you need to make the best decision.

This stage is very essential because it ensures that you are able to make optimum decisions based on thorough information rather than on guesswork.

If decisions are made based on incomplete or inaccurate information, it will result in poor decisions.

Hence, relevant and accurate information is essential for good decision-making

3. Identification of alternatives: The whole essence of decision-making is to select a particular course of action from among various alternatives.

This means that there will always be various alternatives. 

So, in this stage, the decision-maker actively identifies all the various alternatives that are available to him.

That is the decision-maker identifies all possible options for addressing the problem or decision at hand. 

This stage of decision-making is very crucial because it broadens the perspectives of the decision-maker, allowing him to think more creatively about the decision to be made, thus increasing the chances of making the best decision.

4. Analysis of alternatives: This involves analyzing, and evaluating the different alternatives identified in the previous stage.

It involves evaluating the potential outcomes of each alternative and considering how they will impact the organization.

In other words, the analysis of alternatives involves analyzing the feasibility, pros, and cons of each alternative course of action.

It also involves evaluating the financial, operational, and legal impact of each alternative on the organization.

The main goal of the analysis of alternatives stage of the decision-making process is to determine the best alternative that will solve the problem decision identified in step 1.

5. Selection of alternative: After analyzing the various alternatives, the next logical thing is to select the alternative or course of action to follow.

This stage is where the decision-maker chooses the course of action to take based on the evaluation of information gathered in the previous stages 

The chosen alternative should solve the problem identified in step 1 and should be feasible to implement.

This stage of decision-making is considered one of the most important stages of decision-making because it is in this stage that you make the real decision and commits to a course of action.

6. Take action: The utility of decision-making is only realized when the decision-making is implemented.

So, once a decision has been made, the next thing is to take action and implement the decision-making.

The stage of Decision-making involves carrying out the course of action selected in step 5.

That is, it involves putting the selected course of action into action.

7. Review the implemented decision and its consequence: This is the final step in the decision-making process.

In this stage of decision-making, the decision-maker will have to evaluate the outcome of the decision that was implemented in the previous stage

That is, he evaluates the result of the decision implemented to see whether or not the decision solves the problem identified in step 1.

If the decision dodoesot solve the problem, then necessary adjustments will have to be made or the decision maker will have to repeat some steps in the decision-making process to make a new decision.

For example, if the decision-maker observes that the decision is not effective he may decide to gather more information and make new decisions.

The review stage of decision-making is very essential because it allows the decision-maker to identify the effectiveness of the decision made so that adjustments can be made.

It is also important because it allows the decision-maker to learn from experience and adjust his decision-making process for future problems.

That will be all for now. 

To emphasize, the seven stages in the decision-making process is identifying the decision, gathering relevant information, identification of alternatives, analysis of alternatives, selecting alternatives, taking action, and review of the decision.

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