Decision-Making Process – 7 Critical Steps – A layman’s Guide

How many times do you decide one or another thing in a day? Confused: Yes, we need to make decisions at every step of our life, but the process varies depending on the importance of those decisions.

But, when it comes to making decisions in the corporate world, the process involves many steps. Why?

  • Good decisions save time and give you an optimal utilization of resources.

Other office stakeholders, such as employees, contribute better with good decisions.

  • Professional development gets a shoot in the arm.
  • People get familiar at familiarity with the decided things at a faster pace.
  • Employees satisfaction and engagement increases
  • The delegation process becomes easy and effective.
  • Employees feel a strong sense of ownership and more.

So, let’s delve deep into the decision-making process without further delay.

Decision-Making Process

Management has five important components: planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling. In all these components, a decision-making process is required. You may gauze the importance of the process.

The decision-making process is a professional way to act step by step to solve a problem or choose the right path for all. The process also helps in examining various alternatives and minimizing the opportunity cost.

In decision-making, everyone chooses the best alternatives while preceding the other’s alternatives. So whatever the benefits you will get from the unchosen alternatives is known as opportunity cost.

Decisions making make the process robust and minimize the opportunity cost. Many decision-making frameworks are floating in the various books and websites, but there are the seven most proven processes to follow for everyone.

Identifying the problem/goal for decision making

Who will take time to discuss or act on something when there is no problem associated with that. You need to find out the problem for decision-making.

The problem you identify should not be too broad or too short. It must have some measurable outcomes so that you get to know the success or failure of the process after the decision-making process.

If the process’s purpose is to achieve some specific goal, make it measurable and timely. The purpose will not be fulfilled when the goal is un-measurable or not time-bound.

For a company struggling to make a mark in one or two states, getting into the decision-making process for transformation into a multinational corporation is un-measurable. The decision-making process could not serve the purpose here.

Gathering the information

As you know, “What” of decision, it’s time to gather the required things to achieve that “What.” Conduct internal assessment, competitor analysis, involve staff for data collection in multiple areas for seeking required information.

Decision without information is like searching for something in the dark. First collects data and then refine for extracting information. Expert advice, market research, advertisement, case studies, paid consultancy service, and others help collect facts, statistics, or data.

Searching for alternatives

Once you have the relevant information at your fingertips, it’s time to act on the problem. Many experts say that the real decision-making process starts with this step. What if you have just one alternative? Will there be a need for a decision-making process?

No! The more alternatives you have, the reliance on the decision-making process increases. Here, gather as many alternatives as possible so that you do not miss considering any important factors.

Weighing on the evidence

Multiple alternatives are not enough; you need to take a hard look to increase the possibility of winning. Work on identifying potential pitfalls for alternatives and also compare with possible rewards.

It’s important because sometimes, the best decisions come with the worst fallouts. There is always a possibility of decision failure. So what if you choose the best one and it fails. So a comparative study of wins and losses is important in the decision-making process.

Choosing the best and feasible alternatives

Why have we inserted feasible before alternatives? It’s because the solution should always be correct as well as feasible. Traveling 1000 kilometers on a bicycle or foot could be best for someone but could not be feasible.

So in this stage, choose the best and feasible alternatives. Also, work on deciding the potential path for achieving the ultimate goal of indulging in the decision-making process.

Taking action on the decision

We were going through the past five steps to seek the best decisions. So when we have it, it’s time to take action accordingly. Develop a plan for making the decision successful. In some cases, the best decisions turn into a nightmare when not acted in a good way. You require making decisions tangible and achievable.

Experts stress the need to prepare a project plan for your chosen decision. Assign the role to every team member and direct them to work in a coordinated way for the success of the decision.

Reviewing the decision

So, you spent a good amount of time, resources, and effort making the decision and implementing it. That’s done! No, the review process is as important as the other steps.

You cannot decide once, or there will not be any need for decision-making in the future. Review is important as you take an honest look at your decisions and find out good and worse from them.

Some scholars go one step ahead and suggest doing SWOT analysis under review. Under SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat), you find various aspects of your decision-making process that work as a future reference. Learn from those mistakes and improve them for better results in the future decision-making process.


If you are the person, who believes that the decision-making mentioned above process is just for managers, you are mistaken. The framework can be applied in various situations, whether you are at the place of decision making or not. Do not forget to recall the process while making any important decision in your life.

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