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melbourn university The Decision Process: making a quality decision

melbourn university The Decision Process: making a quality decision


The MDQ (Modified Decision Quality) process is a structured approach to decision-making that aims to mitigate the influence of biases and subjective factors while creating a balance between personal preferences and objective facts. It builds upon the Decision Quality Model and involves several key steps to ensure a well-informed and effective decision:

  1. Declare the Decision: Clearly state the decision that needs to be made. This involves identifying the specific choice at hand and differentiating it from other related matters.
  2. Frame the Decision: This step involves breaking down the decision into three components:
    • Purpose: Define the objectives and what you intend to achieve through this decision. It sets the goals and outcomes you are striving for.
    • Scope: Determine the boundaries of the decision, including what is included and excluded. This helps narrow down the focus and avoid unnecessary complications.
    • Perspective: Consider your point of view, as well as the various ways others might approach the decision. This brings awareness to different angles and potential biases.
  3. Building the Decision: This step involves gathering the necessary information and clarifying your preferences:
    • Identify Values: Understand your personal values and priorities that will guide the decision-making process.
    • Collect Data: Gather relevant data and information that will provide a factual basis for evaluating alternatives.
    • Develop Alternatives: Generate multiple possible solutions or courses of action to address the decision. This encourages creative thinking and exploration of different options.
  4. Evaluate and Make Decision: This step involves comparing the alternatives based on both information and values, and then making a choice:
    • Comparing Alternatives: Assess the available alternatives based on how well they align with your objectives, values, and priorities.
    • Decision Rating: Rate each alternative against the established objectives. This step helps ensure that the chosen option is logical and appropriate.
  5. Improve: If gaps or uncertainties arise during the evaluation, revisit the decision-making process to fill in the missing information:
    • Address Gaps: Identify any areas where the decision lacks clarity or necessary information. Seek to address these gaps to improve decision quality.
  6. Assess the Decision: After implementing the chosen alternative, evaluate whether the decision met the objectives set in the beginning. Reflect on the effectiveness of the decision and its outcomes.

The MDQ process emphasizes objectivity, thoughtful consideration of alternatives, and continuous improvement. By following these steps, individuals and organizations can enhance the quality of their decision-making, reduce the impact of biases, and achieve better outcomes. It provides a systematic approach that can be applied to personal, professional, and organizational decisions.

melbourn university The Decision Process: making a quality decision



The way we go about making decisions can affect the final choice we make. Our bias and personality influence our decisions. However, a good decision process will help make the balance we need between bias and facts to create the best possibilities. A good process also helps us address the components of a decision in a sensible order to make a prompt decision. There are many decision models used by managers and organizations today but they all contain common elements: identifying the decision to be made, framing the decision as to its purpose, designing alternatives, evaluating the alternatives in relationship to the objectives needed to meet the purpose of making the decision, making the decision and reviewing the process and its effectiveness in implementing the decision. The model we will use in this class is adapted from the Decision Quality Model Developed by the Decision Education Foundation in conjunction with Stanford University. It is important to remember that the purpose behind decision making models is to help mitigate the influence our natural biases have in making decisions. Understanding the process and how it interjects objectivity in to the decision-making process is the focus of the next few weeks of class. The model is known as DQ or Decision Quality. We have adapted the model by adding and combining elements to the traditional six step chain. We will call it MDQ or Modified Decision Quality.

Here are the elements of the MDQ process:
Declare the Decision-what is the decision that is to be made? What is it? What it is not? State the decision.

Frame the decision- there are three components to a decision

1) Purpose- what you hope to accomplish by making the decision (objectives);

2) Scope- what to include and exclude in the decision;

3) Perspective- your point of view about the decision, the ways you want to approach, or others may approach making the decision.

Framing is like the zoom feature of the camera. What we include in the picture is the scope of the decision. The angle for the best lighting and view is the perspective and what kind of picture we want, an action or landscape shot, is the purpose.
Building the decision- this includes identifying the values, collecting data, developing alternatives, collecting information that results in clarifying what you really want from the decision.

Evaluate and Make Decision

1) Comparing the alternatives based on information and values- which is best for me and those I care about if this is personal decision or what is best for the business or organization. Before deciding, rate the decision on the elements or objectives. Does the choice make sense?

2)Improve- are their gaps in the quality of the decision? Do you have areas that you are uncertain of or feel lack information? Repeat the process after filling in the gaps to see if the choice is 100% what you want from the decision. (Decision Quality Model developed by the Decision Education Foundation)

Assess the Decision- Did the implementation of the alternative chosen fulfill the objectives set out for making the decision?

Adapted from Decision Education Foundation 2009 retrieved from www.decisioneducation.org/skills

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