Decision Making and Decision Support Techniques

This course is focused on helping participants understand decision making and decision support systems.  It presents a model of decision making and identifies various tools for supporting and informing decisions.  Those tools include qualitative and quantitative tools.  Participants will be engaged in selected exercises to apply what they have learned.  The workshop is highly interactive and designed to allow participants to both acquire and apply skills that can serve them well in the workplace.  It utilizes a case study throughout the workshop that is specific to the environment that they work in.

Objectives of the workshop are to:

          •Develop awareness and enhance current skills using decision support techniques
          •Broaden awareness of financial management tools that enhance decision support
          •Provide an understanding of the impact interpersonal skills have on decision support roles
          •Provide an understanding of the decision support concepts and the impact on leaders
          •Identify ways decision support processes can be incorporated into the organization

Course Outline

Day 1:
Module 1: Introduction to the workshop
-In this module, we will detail the workshop objectives and schedule and identify participant interests and concerns. 
Module 2: Decision making fundamentals and models
-In this module, we’ll examine the tenets of modern theories of decision making, such as DMAIC and root cause analysis.  We’ll examine the challenges of effective decision making and the impediments to good decision making.  We’ll identify a decision model and lay the basis for further analysis of decision making. 
Module 3: The organizational contexts of decision making
-In this module, we will examine the organizational context for decision making and the organizational influences on decision making.  We’ll examine organizational cultures and the way that organizations influence decision making strategies.  We’ll also examine the critical role of group-think and the impact that it can have on decision making.
Module 4: Approaches to creativity and broadening the solution set
-In this module, we’ll examine methods for broadening our thinking and widening the potential set of solutions to organizational problems.  We’ll identify the impediments to creativity and some of the techniques, such as brainstorming and simple prototyping, used to help groups and individuals become more creative in their search for solutions to problems.  We’ll engage in an exercise to develop a creative solution to a problem.
Module 5: Qualitative methods for decision support
-In this module, we’ll examine some of the methods used to support decision making.  Those methods can include such techniques as weighting systems, priority ranking, Ishikawa diagrams, process mapping, and other techniques for adding structure to our decision making.  We’ll engage in an exercise to apply some of the most useful tools.

Day 2:
Module 6: Quantitative methods for decision support
-In this module, we’ll investigate some more advanced tools for decision support.  We’ll examine the creation of the business case and application of useful techniques for decision analysis.  Those techniques will include cost-benefit analysis, determination of the net present value of decision options, and internal rate of return.  We’ll explore the concept of the time-value of money and examine the challenges of applying those techniques in public-sector organizations.
Module 7: Risk analysis
-In this module, we’ll examine a model for decision making based on risk.  We’ll explore ways to identify the risks of decision options, prioritize and rank those risks, analyze the risk preferences of our stakeholders, and select options that minimize appropriate risks and make solid risk tradeoffs.  We’ll engage in an exercise to examine risks in a decision-making situation.
Module 8: Changing organizational behavior
-In this module, we examine techniques for embedding good decision-making processes in the organization.  We’ll examine the role of managers and leaders in inducing and supporting good decision making.  We’ll also examine the various roles and responsibilities of those in the organization as they support and enable good decision making.
Module 9: Workshop wrap-up
-In this module, we’ll conclude the workshop and respond to remaining questions.  We’ll identify additional resources and evaluate the workshop


Ultimately, the goal of the workshop is to create a workforce that is capable of making informed, well-supported decisions.