The Basic Process

Within these resources, I have attempted to convert the basic ideas of my approach to decision-making (outlined here) into specific process steps that individuals and teams can follow to make decisions. The steps vary depending on whether we are making decisions in individual situations or decisions that impact groups.

What follows is a very high level summary of the steps for both individual and group (or system-level) decisions.

basic_process

Individual Situations

Group / System-Level Decisions

The Basic Steps In individual situations the basic steps to follow are:
  1. Identify the key question
  2. Get the facts straight:
    • what do we know for sure?
    • what don’t we know that we can find out?
    • what information can’t we know?
  3. Identify what matters
  4. Prioritize – what should matter most?
  5. Consult others
  6. Brainstorm possible choices
  7. Analyze options to see which best live up to what should matter most
  8. Make a decision – and put it into action
  9. Reflect and learn from your choices
Decisions that impact groups of people require better conversations, more careful articulation, greater engagement, and more thorough follow up.

The basic steps are:

  1. Establish the Team
  2. Select the Key Question(s)
  3. Look at the Evidence
  4. Consider What’s Important
    • Synthesize Values (optional)
  5. Brainstorm Options
  6. Analyze Options
  7. Articulate a Preliminary Decision
  8. Engage Others
  9. Make the Decision
  10. Develop a Communication Strategy
  11. Develop an Education Plan
  12. Develop a Downstream Support Plan
  13. Develop and Evaluation & Sustainability Plan
  14. Develop an Ongoing Feedback Plan
  15. Implement the Decision
Basic Tool To help you get started on the path to making better decisions, here is a basic tool that can be used when making individual decisions.

This is a one page worksheet where one can capture the basic elements of a discussion. It can be used to help organize your thoughts when thinking through an issue. Download the file here.

To help you get started on the path to making better group decisions, here is a fill-able form that can be used as a basic process for making system-level decisions. Download the file here.
Detailed Versions  For more detailed versions of this decision-making tool, see the Clinicians and Ethics for Everyone sections of the website.  For more comprehensive direction and tools regarding system-level decisions, see the Policy Makers section of the website.




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