Stanley E. Malcolm, Ph.D.
Following is a brief introduction to a decision-making process that I've used myself and shared with clients for many years. It brings structure to what is too often haphazard, resulting in better plans and better results. But the most important reason I've found for using this analytical process is that it invariably results in new insights into the problem you're facing - and those insights may save you from wasting time doing the wrong thing.
After the introduction, you'll find links to a series of files you can download if you wish to try the process yourself. Fair warning though, facilitating the process requires practice and benefits from coaching (which I would be glad to provide, just ask).
If you don't know where you're going, any road will do. This six-step process will help you make decisions and plans systematically, thereby increasing the probability of achieving your goals. By the time you complete this process, you'll have a clear picture of where you're going, a map of the steps to get you there, a sense of the pitfalls to be avoided along the road, and the means to assess your success when you arrive. This process can be used by teams planning initiatives in a business or public sector environment, or by individuals making decisions about careers or other life choices.
The process consists of six steps:
Each step in the process has five elements:
A series of worksheets provide the means to capture your work as you proceed through the steps. Some information you will enter on the worksheets is relevant only to that step. Think of these entries as intermediate work products. Other entries, such as your mission statement, you will carry forward to the final worksheet, which is the Action Plan. The Action Plan summarizes all the careful thought of the preceding steps, laying it out in a way that others can rapidly grasp your intent, as well as know what is expected of them, what they can expect of you or others, when goals will be achieved, and how they contribute to achieving the overall mission.
Downloadable Files (Microsoft Word format):