Team decisions can be improved in quality and timing when everyone involved understands the criteria behind the decision, such as cost, risk or how long implementation will take, writes Kevin Eikenberry. “You can set decision criteria upfront for a specific decision or have a set that you run many decisions through to help create better results,” Eikenberry writes.
We are all in the decision-making business – especially as leaders. In order for us to make effective decisions, we need clear decision criteria. Yet too often, we don’t slow down to consider, we just decide. When you look at the next decision in front of you – do you know what your criterion for deciding is?
What are Decision Criteria?
Decision criteria are a set of principles, priorities, guidelines, or rules by which we decide. In other words, they help us make a decision or decide which course of action will be best. While they can be explicit (more on this in a minute), they are often unstated and personal. If they are unstated and personal when deciding in a group, they can be the source of delay, frustration, misunderstanding, and even conflict.
Creating Explicit Decision Criteria
Whether making decisions alone or in a group, it is best to determine how we will decide. We should consider questions like how do we know what a good decision is, and how can we improve the odds that we make a good one? This is where decision criteria can come in. Rather than going solely with our intuition, we can make a decision that considers a variety of important factors.
You can set decision criteria upfront for a specific decision or have a set that you run many decisions through to help create better results. While you could use nearly anything as your decision criteria, common examples include:
- Level of agreement
- Cultural consistency
- Ease of adjustment
- Time to implement
- Ease of implementation
- Level of risk