7 Excellent Decision Making Techniques

decision making techniques
decision making techniques

Effective decision making techniques help you get through the several stages of the decision-making process effectively and efficiently. That means offering some of the sound solutions based on your information gathering, and evaluating those solutions well and fairly. People employ a wide range of decision-making techniques and it is best to try out a few to see what works best for you. Here are some of them:

Affinity diagrams

Affinity diagrams are used for grouping data based on their relationship to each other. The purpose of this technique is to help you make a sense of a lot of information. The process is so simple – write down each idea, group those that are related. This even allows you to cluster or bundle ideas together, and then eliminate overlaps or see which part of the area is the most popular or populated.

Cost/benefit analsysis

It is a methodical process of approximating the pros and cons of the decision to achieve the most cost effective result. You can use this to mitigate against with some of the negative impact of a decision, or during a decision of whether or not to do something based on the positive outcomes versus the risks.

Decision-making trees

It is a simple yet effective model similar to the flow charts that are used to visualize decisions and their consequences.

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Heuristic methods

Heuristic methods problem solve by creating estimates and good enough decisions. It is a flexible way of making a decision quickly, but it is not as precise or detailed as other decision-making models but works in certain circumstances. For instance, if A did not work last time, it is unlikely to work this time therefore let’s decide to go with decision B.

Influence diagrams

Influence diagrams can be used to see how two or more factors influence each other. Influence diagrams can include feedback loops. Although simple they can be a great way to understand how multiple factors can interact with one another.

Multiple criteria decision analysis

MCDA or Multiple criteria decision analysis is often the preferred technique for complex decision making. MCDA divides the problem into subproblems, which makes it easier for analysis and achieving a meaningful solution. An instance of this is the Analytics Hierarchy Process, also known as AHP. This method uses psychology and mathematics to organize and analyze complex decisions by deconstructing the main problem into more easily understandable smaller problems and then organizing them in a hierarchy based on a wide range of aspects that is priority, understanding, or tangibility.


Multi-voting is used alongside brainstorming or affinity diagrams and is ideal when group decision making is required. The team will vote on the ideas that are being generated to deliver group consensus. Trial and error is the least analytical method of decision making and is fairly uncommon in business, moreover more likely to occur in people’s personal life. Essentially, you try something, and if it does not work you try something else until it does. One instance of using trial and error in business is through the use of subjecting panels of judges to product trials. With respect to, analysis of which product performs the best should lead to an accurate decision of which product to take to market.

Related : 4 Effective Decision Making Tips, at Home and at Work

Closure – Decision Making Techniques

When it comes to making business decisions, one should always weigh the negative and positive business consequences and should favor the positive outcomes.

This avoids the possible losses to the organization and keeps the company running with sustained growth. Most of the time, avoiding decision making looks easier, especially when you get into a lot of confrontation after making the tough decision.

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(The images used in the post are extracted from unsplash)