Decision Making in Theory
Good decision making starts with effective situation analysis. In the world of theory, this is called “getting the facts.” It’s followed by “analyzing the facts.” Then comes “make the decision,” followed by “implement the decision.” This straight-line picture of decision making is pure fantasy.
Decision Making in Practice
In the real world, things aren’t quite so neat. Most of the time, you don’t start with facts. You start with opinions. Not only that, data gathering and analysis and deciding what to do, and doing it all overlap. But no matter how messy it gets, analyzing the situation is really, really, really important. Asking lots of good questions is the key to getting good analysis and good results.
Questions are the mental crowbars that let you pry open reality to see what’s really going on. Here are ten good ones.
10 Great Questions to Ask Again and Again
What’s the story of the problem?
Why do we want to solve the problem?
What do we know for sure?
What are we assuming?
What don’t we know?
What’s a similar situation?
What happens if we do nothing?
What’s the goal?
Who are the stakeholders?
What’s the first step?