Make Management Decisions
Managers are required to make hard decisions that support a company's short and long-term goals. Management decisions are usually made after employees' proposals and preferences have been heard. They must be made with a team, department or company in mind. The best management decisions are made with evidence, examination and input from other leaders. However, managers must keep a balance between receiving input and being decisive. Be prepared to make difficult decisions and review them for accuracy in the future. Learn how to make management decisions.
- Define your problem. Write down the situation you need to change, keeping in mind all underlying factors.
- Ensure it is your decision to make. If it is a decision that affects people outside of your management reach, you may want to ask other managers to make a joint decision with you.
- Analyze the problem by researching. Request evidence from anyone who has identified the problem or worked on it. List the factors, claims and opinions in bulleted form, but make sure to list the evidence underneath each, or it is not useful to an educated decision.
- Write down any limiting factors for your decision. For instance, time, money, personnel or supplies, are factors that should be taken into account with any decision.
- Write down a list of possible solutions. After examining the evidence, you should be ready to suggest a few possibilities.
- Ask a team, employee or other manager to improve on the solutions. Some studies have shown that instead of brainstorming, or allowing people to suggest many different creative solutions, you should ask people to improve on several alternatives. Allow people to be critical about ideas and suggest solutions to expand an idea.
- Weigh your short-term and long-term goals. Make sure your decision can keep both sets of goals in mind. If it cannot, then you may require some advice from the parties involved to help improve it.
- Do a cost-benefit analysis of the possible solutions. Ask for the help of a financial analyst to run the numbers, if necessary. Estimate the costs of each decision and the financial growth or benefit they would provide. Cut out any ideas where the benefits do not outweigh the costs.
- If you are lacking the numbers to do a cost-benefit analysis, do some experimentation. Run a report or gather data while you make the decision. Experiment with a small group or market research.
- Consider the support you will need. Many employees and managers like to stay with the status quo. In this case, decide who's support is required to successfully carry out your decision, and invite them in to discuss and improve on the idea.
- In some cases, you may need to make trade-offs to gain support. Decision-making within a company structure may require some negotiations; however, a decision that lacks follow through is unlikely to be successful.
- Make the decision yourself. Let people who have given input know when you will make the final decision. They should know that it is in your hands, but that you are seeking their valued input.
- Many management books talk about making "gut" decisions. These decisions are intuitive choices based on your knowledge of the company. The best decisions are made with evidence to support them, but you may need to rely on your "gut" to tell you whether they will be feasible within your company culture.
- Create a plan for implementing the decision. Announce your decision with an adoption process already in mind. People are more likely to start something new if they are given steps for implementation.
- Schedule follow up action. All managers must change or adjust decisions, if they do not solve the problem. Set a date for a review period, where you can examine the evidence and improve upon your decision.
- Beware that most managers give preferential treatment to the first information they receive during the decision-making process. Review the evidence again, looking for quality and confirmation that it is correct. The best solution may be the third or fourth option in your list.
Things You'll Need
- Defined problem
- Evidence (reports, statistics, evaluations)
- Possible solutions
- Employee input
- Cost-benefit analysis
- Company support