Decision-Making - Review

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 The decision-making cycle is not complete until the decision  is implemented and the original need is satisfied.   During the implementation period, progress should be reviewed on a regular basis to 1) ensure adequate progress, 2) monitor any changes in the original need that might warrant a deviation from the original implementation plan, and 3) discover  fresh opportunities for improving the decision and its implementation plan.   As time proceeds, conditions change.  Most complex and important decisions required a lengthy time period to implement a decision.  During the time it takes to implement a specific decision choice, many things could change to affect both the necessity of the original need and/or the desirability of the solution (alternative selected).  All decisions that required a lengthy implementation period should undergo a periodic review.    During each review, the decision maker should ask these questions:
1. Is the implementation plan proceeding according to plan?  If not, why not? 
A risk assessment with discrete interventions may be warranted to get back on track. 
2. Is the original want or need still viable (has it been satisfied by other means?  There is no point in continuing with the means (implementation of a decision choice) if the ends (wants and needs) have changed. 
New ends may require new means 
3. Are there new, more important wants and needs that have emerged that demand some of the resources intended for the implementation plan.  New ends will require new means and each means requires resources for their attainment.  Adjusting the implementation plan and schedule based on resource availability are sometimes necessary to realign with shifting needs and their relative priority.  The decision-maker must stay in sync with the current reality by acknowledging that changing circumstances can cause shifts in both needs, implementation plans and availability of resources.

Success in life depends on well each person (decision-maker) manages their most precious resources (time, energy, and investment capital).   Limited resources limits the number of needs that each person can pursue.   Success in life is somewhat proportional to the number of satisfied needs, which in turn depends on the quality of the decisions made to achievement, the viability of the implementation plans to execute the decision choice, and how well the decision-maker adapts to evolving circumstances during the implementation phase.    All three skills must be applied to achieve personal success - defined here as the satisfaction of human needs.   Decision-making and the implementation of those decisions are the keys to personal success.  If a decision-maker selects an suboptimal alternative, then either less of a need is satisfied or more resources are expended than required.  If a suboptimal implementation plan is selected, it make take more resources to satisfy the need.  If circumstances change, and the decision-maker does not adapt to them, then the imperfect alignment between ends and means means inefficiency and ineffectiveness.  

Everyone should schedule periodic reviews of both the ends (wants and needs) and the means (their decisions and the progress in implementing them) to make sure that everything is on track.   If not, then changes are warranted to get back into alignment.   These reviews normally result in some mid-course corrections to maintain the alignment between the ends and means that are essential for a success completion of the decision cycle.  

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Website last updated on 10/19/08
Copyright 2005 Charles W. Sooter.  All rights reserved.