Frameworks for Intelligent Decision-Making

decision making framework

Many leaders are reluctant to make the final call when there are good arguments and a lot of emotions on both sides. We intuitively want the team to come to the right decision on their own. But I’ve found that people are enormously relieved when they hear that you’re grabbing the baton and accepting responsibility for a decision. Using the “CEO prerogative” — to make the final call — isn’t something you ought to need every day. As long as you do it sparingly, you can actually make your employees more comfortable, and engender more trust by pulling the trigger, logically explaining your choice and sticking with it. The Eisenhower Matrix, also known as the Urgent-Important Matrix, helps prioritize tasks and decisions based on their urgency and importance.

decision making framework

RACI Decisions

This framework provides suitable approaches and strategies for each domain, allowing for effective decision-making amid varying levels of certainty and complexity. Dave Snowden developed the Cynefin Framework, which categorizes decision-making contexts into simple, complicated, complex, and chaotic domains. This model underscores the importance of unconscious or intuitive decision-making processes. It is especially useful in complex decision scenarios where intuition, derived from past experiences and expertise, can guide decision-making. Game Theory, a mathematical model introduced by mathematician John Nash, scrutinizes strategic decision-making where multiple players’ choices interact.

decision making framework

LogRocket generates product insights that lead to meaningful action

A tree can be small, meaning it has only one decision node and its branching immediate consequences, or large, which means it has follow-up decisions and their respective branching consequences. Having to make a decision alone is work enough, you don’t need to add a mathematical equation to it to make things worse. The idea is to use post-its to plot down what you know for sure about a problem, what you think you know, and what you don’t know at all in three respective columns.

Top 6 frameworks for decision-making

The matrix, nicknamed the “Xanax for decision-making” among his team members at Flatiron, has enabled his increasingly autonomous and fragmented team to keep moving fast and smart through tough choices. They should also be defined in a way that acknowledges potential tensions. When two principles seem to conflict, the context should tell you which principle should take precedence. For example, “think rigorously” is paramount for high impact and irreversible decisions, but “move with urgency” is critical for decisions that are lower impact and potentially tunable.

The Flywheel Growth Model

  • All of this means good decision-making skills are more important than ever.
  • Focus on decisions that have major strategic importance or cut across many parts of the organization.
  • People tend to be more accepting of their preferred options being deprioritized if they had a say in all votes.
  • It works by identifying and assigning who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed before every project or decision.
  • Think of this as a minimal version of the RACI chart we covered above.

The Cynefin Framework is beneficial in project management, organizational strategy, and leadership roles, where understanding the nature of problems can guide decision-making approaches. Business leaders today have access to more sophisticated data than ever before. For one thing, organizational dynamics—such as unclear roles, overreliance on consensus, and death by committee—can get in the way of straightforward decision making.

They spend so much time collecting information and assessing the situation that they never actually just make a decision. Or, second, they suffer from disaster-fantasizing, playing out all the possible what if’s and things that could possibly go wrong that, again, they never just make a decision. We are at the point in the academic year when students are faced with lots of big decisions. In an ideal world, many of these decisions would have been made long before now, but students, like the rest of us, sometimes like to put off making decisions until the last possible moment.

This is the realm of unknowables (the events of September 11, 2001, fall into this category). In this domain, a leader must first act to establish order, sense where stability is present, and then work to transform the situation from chaos to complexity. In a complex context, right answers can’t be ferreted out at all; rather, instructive patterns emerge if the leader conducts experiments that can safely fail. This is the realm of “unknown unknowns,” where much of contemporary business operates.

Making a decision is a process, and process mapping is always useful for ensuring all relevant information and people are considered while creating a consistent, repeatable model. And, when it comes to decision making, in particular, it can also serve as an extremely useful accounting services for startups and insightful tool for auditing how decisions are currently being made. A scalable decision-making framework can create some guidelines to guarantee everyone is properly informed and consulted while bestowing final decision-making authority to the appropriate people.

  • Instead, too much choice not only leads to indecision, it also leads to higher levels of dissatisfaction when a choice is made.
  • A decision-making model works by walking you through the decision-making process — and there are several such models available for you to choose from.
  • It’s quickly reviewing everything you’ve learned from similar past situations to help you make a decision in your current situation.
  • In this realm of “known knowns,” leaders must first assess the facts of a situation—that is, “sense” it—then categorize and respond to it.
  • The ‘input role’ provides expertise, insights, and information that shape the recommendation.

decision making framework

Read on for how Rajaram uses the SPADE framework to help synchronize and speed up collaboration over difficult choices. Gokul Rajaram, who heads up Caviar at Square, developed the SPADE decision-making framework with Square colleague Jeff Kolovson. The framework, which stands for Setting, People, Alternatives, Decide and Explain, has been used to make important calls, without depending on the slow crawl of consensus decision-making. While I was at Google, Larry Page was extremely good at forcing decisions so fast that people were worried the team was about to drive the car off a cliff.

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