Decision Making Process

Man continuously faces challenges and opportunities in all his endeavors. Each moment provides an opportunity to make a decision. The decision a person makes bears either short-term or long-term consequences. We make such decisions amidst uncertainty, risk and conflict and still anticipate for the best results. I was in such a position when I was wanted to join an institution of higher learning to pursue my dream career. I wanted to join a globally competitive university at an affordable cost since I did not have much financial resource. There were family responsibilities to manage, and this meant that I could not be away for long.

According to Champion & James (1989), there are particular and orderly steps to employ in order to make the most viable decision in any situation. Important decisions involve resolving a conflict of some sort. The conflict arises from the fact that there are several, varied ideas to harmonize. This implies that the person has to consider carefully, without bias, all the existing facts revolving around the pending alternatives. The process of decision making has six key steps; these are the precursors to perfect decisions and actions.

The initial stage involves recognizing and analyzing the problem (Champion & James, 1989). A problem exists when there is a variation between the current and the expected or past state of events. Logical classification of the problem is critical at this stage. For my case, the main concern was following my career dreams. Nevertheless, I could not ignore other competing needs of significance such as family and resources. Once the problem has been acknowledged, it is prudent to generate alternative solutions to the problem.

One may draw possible solutions from past experiences or by employing logic to that particular circumstance. Consultation is extremely essential in this stage in order to list all the viable solutions to the problem at hand. In my example, I had four alternatives: joining a local university near home, joining the All-American School of Richmond, take online studies, or not to join any institution at all. Keen assessment of the alternatives is essential in order to rank the viable options.

Evaluating the options entails checking the effectiveness of each of the alternatives identified to the problem. The alternatives should be assessed with proper thought and in a logical manner. One should predict the possible consequences of each alternative implementation. Quantitative measures of the outcome should be compared in order to make evidence based decision (Saaty & Vargas, 2006). There was a comparison of personal-career goals with the outcome of each alternative. This then influenced my choice from the array of alternatives.

Making the choice is the subsequent step in the process. This is the most crucial step; it is done on the basis of the alternative analysis made. It is thoughtful not to paralyze decisiveness by too much analysis. The broad objectives should come into scrutiny. Hence, they should not be blurred by exquisite details of each of the particular alternative (Saaty & Vargas, 2006). There is a risk of losing focus of the main idea if one takes too much time analyzing trivial ideas.

After making the crucial decision, I set in place contingency plans. These are replacement plans in case the main plan does not succeed. From my previous dilemma in decision making on career, I finally chose to study in the University of Phoenix by taking online classes. Decision making also includes making a decision that is suitable even though it may not be the perfect one. The chosen alternative must then be implemented according to the plan instituted.

The final step is evaluating the decision to see how it works in a real scenario. An effective tool for evaluation is established to operate as the check for actions culminating from the decision. In conclusion, a superb quality decision is a product from careful consideration of each step in the entire process.


  1. Champion, J. & James, J. (1989). Critical Incidents in Management: Decision and Policy Issues. Montreal, MTL: The McGraw-Hill Companies.
  2. Saaty, L. & Vargas, G. (2006). Decision Making with the Analytic Network Process: Economic, Political, Social and Technological Applications with Benefits, Opportunities, Costs and Risks. Pennsylvania, PA: Springer’s.
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