Napoleon Bonaparte once said, 'Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.' Good decision making means choosing the course of action that optimizes the return on your investment of resources. But before you can make a good decision, you need to first identify and evaluate your alternatives. Fortunately, a number of tools and techniques are available that can help you to formalize the process of identifying alternatives, carefully evaluating them, and finally making the best decision possible with the information available to you. These tools multiply the power of your most important assets in good decision making: your intelligence and common sense. This course introduces a variety of tools and techniques to use at the three most important steps of the decision-making process: generating, evaluating, and choosing between alternative courses of action. Nominal group technique (NGT) is used to brainstorm and prioritize options as a team. Return on Investment (ROI) measures distill the costs and benefits of each alternative into a monetary value, thus enabling you to easily compare your options on financial terms. Three other decision-making tools – the devil's advocate technique, Plus/Minus/Interesting (PMI) analysis, and the ease-and-effect matrix – provide alternate methodologies for challenging and evaluating alternatives before making a decision. Equipping yourself with these tools will ensure you have an edge when you're facing an important decision. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.
Individuals who want to develop or improve their problem-solving and decision-making skills