DECISION MAKING

DECISION MAKING

Post 369 ⇒   by Gautam Shah 

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Design processes involve Decision Making. Decisions are taken on factors that are essentially part of the project itself, and also on various presumptions, which may or may not become part of the project. In the first case the decisions are made on factors that are internal, through a process of selection, confirmation, elimination, etc. While in the later case, the decisions are made from external factors, where not only the relevance, but the entire range of their effects needs to be forecast.

Decision making through group interactions

Decisions are primarily taken when an action is required, or when further decisions are due. Decisions are taken at: conscious level (intellectual) and subconscious level (intuitive). Actual time and exact place of a decision cannot be identified. However, the context within which certain decisions are made can be known.

Decisions are taken through:

Analysis: Dissecting a whole into parts so to understand it better.

Synthesis: Combining several things to form a whole to see if it is pertinent.

Holism: Conceptualizing the whole thing.

The quality of decision is governed by the decision makers’ (design professionals’) state such as: physiological fitness, mental alertness, personality traits (daring, fear), information, training, experiences, opportunities, time, resources (human, equipment, finance, circumstances), etc.

The gut-feeling

Decision making helps a designer with an analytical base to affirm a belief (intuitive or ‘gut-feeling’) and select a course of action from several nearly equal alternative possibilities. Decisions do not have mathematical sharpness or uniqueness. There is never a perfect decision. There usually are many different ways of achieving the same goal. A decision is a subjective process that offers the best course for a given situation. The situation here could be the mental condition, exigency or compulsion. Actualization of a decision may include course corrections. Because the original decision making moment and its conditions change by the time actualization occurs. Efficiency of a decision is judged, on how much it accomplishes and in what time. A reasonable decision always takes one closer to the goal, however, slightly.

Decision makers ask questions like:

Is the objective defined ?

Is sufficient information available ?

How many options are available ?

Have these options been evaluated ?

Are all risks identified and provided for ?

Does this decision feel right, now that actions are being taken on it ?

Simon’s 3 stages in Rational Decision Making > Intelligence, Design, Choice

Decision making and consequences thereof (actions or further decisions) are often so interlaced that it is not possible to view them separately.

Decision making comprises of:

1   forecasting the most opportunity moment and the most obvious context, for the consequences to occur or even not to occur.

  determination of probabilities of occurrence or follow up actions.

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