7 Decision-Making Frameworks to Deal with World’s Complexity

decision making framework

Writing down the pros and cons of each possible solution to the problem and picking the best is not a difficult task after all the earlier steps have been taken care of. It is an obvious step in every decision-making process and is an integral part of the decision-making framework. The next step in the decision-making framework is to collect all the information available before jumping into a conclusion. Ensuring that the decision is a well-informed one ensures you are one step closer to the right decision. These are the questions that need to be answered before handing over the responsibility of a decision to an individual or a group of individuals. A framework is essential for decision-making as this makes your task all cut out and easy for you to arrive at a decision-making framework that best suits you.

This is the realm of “unknown unknowns,” where much of contemporary business operates. Leaders in this context need to probe first, then sense, and then respond. This is a small collection of frameworks decision making framework that I like to use and are not broadly available everywhere. There are plenty of other options spread across the internet for you to dive into, such as RACI, SPADE, Xanax, or even A/B testing.

Frameworks For Decision-Making

This relatively new tool was introduced by Gil Shklarski, a CTO at Flatiron Health in the past and an experienced startup mentor. When working at Flatiron Health, Gil noticed that many talented specialists didn’t want to enter C-level positions. They were wary of the high pressure connected with decision-making and negotiating these decisions with colleagues. Please note, this decision-making framework doesn’t help you single out one option but rather helps deep dive into the context of a problem so that you can make a carefully weighed decision.

That way, you understand the intricacies of their day-to-day overall operations and understand every decision the team makes over the long term. The Devil’s Advocacy framework involves assigning a person or a group the role of a “devil’s advocate” to challenge and critique the proposed decision or solution. By encouraging critical thinking, and considering potential risks and drawbacks, it helps identify weaknesses in the decision-making process. The Cynefin Framework is beneficial in project management, organizational strategy, and leadership roles, where understanding the nature of problems can guide decision-making approaches. Every day, we make numerous choices that significantly impact our journey.

Decision graphs

We also need to set a limit for different criteria if we don’t necessarily need them to reach the upper bound. Then, we decided that Cost isn’t very important and we can ignore this criterion completely. When the descriptors were ready, we came up with three potential options (Solution variations) that can satisfy the Traveler’s needs. Making a big decision takes a hefty amount of work, but it’s only the first part of the process — now you need to actually implement it. However, bear in mind that there’s still a surprising amount of room for flexibility here. Maybe you’ll modify an alternative or combine a few suggested solutions together to land on the best fit for your problem and your team.

Instead, they provide a common setting for decisions to be made and a process that should create speed and consistency while still covering all the bases. With this more nuanced input, the person or group can tally up the responses and make the final decision, weighting each opinion appropriately. This process moves beyond an up/downvote and lets you sense what kind of ongoing support a choice will really have if it’s selected. Anytime you are faced with an important decision, it is essential not to let biases get in your way.

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Before addressing a situation, leaders need to recognize which context governs it—and tailor their actions accordingly. Once the group is satisfied with the number of available options, each person votes on the ones that they think make sense, while also vetoing the ones they think are bad ideas (or worse ideas compared to the rest). On the other hand, collective decision-making can be a dangerous path to deadlocks and loss of executive power.

decision making framework

When a table is created and all options are discussed, a team makes a decision and freezes it for 24 hours. It helps to release tension, check the data again, and weigh all the consequences of a selected solution. A word of caution about scalable decision-making frameworks… they aren’t magic. Decision-making frameworks don’t replace hard work, research, discussion, and debate.

Once this is achieved, identifying the problem areas from the rest and identifying patterns in the problem are the next steps. The decision-making framework that each individual makes use of is different in different situations. A decision-making framework is all about cause and effect analysis and pinning down on the best possible outcome, given the situation.

  • To reach a level of experience where you are confident enough to make the right decisions, a decision-making framework will always be of assistance.
  • Given that only 20% of team members say that their organization excels at decision-making, most organizations and team leaders have a lot of room to improve in this area.
  • And if you need to not only create a new solution but also get an actionable plan for its implementation, then the BRIDGeS framework can be your best shot.
  • I’m a strong advocate of the idea that the main value a product manager brings to the team is decision-making.
  • On the other hand, collective decision-making can be a dangerous path to deadlocks and loss of executive power.