Back to Research & Development

Subscribe to R&D Round-Up newsletter

Stay informed with a short, sharp monthly summary of MLA’s latest research reports.

Sign up

Decision making checklist

These five steps can help you make, and follow through on, business decisions.

Step 1: identification

  • What decision do you need to make? What problem do you need to solve?
  • Get specific in the detail of the decision and identify the critical factors in making the decision.
Step 2:
  • Gather information that is directly related to the problem. Doing this will help you better understand what needs to be done in solving the problem, and will also help to generate ideas for a possible solution.
  • Make a list of every possible alternative; even ones that may initially sound silly or seem unrealistic. 
  • Seek the opinions of people that you trust, speak to experts and professionals. This will help you to come up with a variety of solutions when weighing all your options for a final decision. Gather as many resources as possible. 
  • Consider the option of ‘do nothing’ and what that will mean.
Step 3: consequences
  • Review the and cons of the different options that you listed in step 2 (including the do nothing option). This step is essential and it will also help you feel comfortable with all your options and the possible outcome of your chosen option.
Step 4: implementation
  • Execute your final decision.  This step can cause some people a lot of anxiety, it is also where you have to trust your instincts and ACT. 
  • Ask yourself, does it feel right? does this decision work best for me now, and in the future? When you answer these questions back, you should feel good about the result.

    Although you may still be slightly indecisive about your final decision, you have to take into account how this makes you feel.

Step 5: evaluation
  • What was the outcome of the decision – did it solve your problem?
  • This final step is as, if not more, important as step one. Evaluating decisions will help you to further develop your decision making skills for future problems. This step is also fundamental because it may require you to seek out new information and make some changes along the way.