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Decision-making Guidelines Template

These decision-making guidelines cover defining goals and roles, assessing impact and risk, data gathering, commitment, and dissemination. The tips & tricks include leveraging mission statements, facilitating debates, and using risk matrices.

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Decision-making Guidelines Template

These decision-making guidelines cover defining goals and roles, assessing impact and risk, data gathering, commitment, and dissemination. The tips & tricks include leveraging mission statements, facilitating debates, and using risk matrices.

Decision-making Guidelines

Defining Goals

At our company, we believe that effective decision-making is crucial for our success. This Subject outlines our decision-making guidelines and process to ensure that all employees are equipped with the knowledge and tools to make informed and efficient decisions. This process is designed to promote clarity, inclusivity, and accountability at all levels of our organization.

Define the Goal(s)

Objective: Clearly articulate what you are trying to achieve with your decision. Understanding the end goal is the first step in making a successful decision.

Questions to Ask:

  • What is the desired outcome?
  • How will we measure success?
  • What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics?

Defining Roles

Objective: Identify and assign specific roles to ensure clarity in responsibilities and decision-making authority.


  • Decision Maker: The individual or group responsible for making the final decision.
  • Project Owner: The person accountable for the project's success and implementation of the decision.
  • Stakeholder: Individuals or groups affected by the decision or who have a vested interest in the outcome.
  • Informed: People who need to be informed about the decision and its rationale but are not directly involved in making it.

Assessing Impact and Risk

Objective: Evaluate the potential impact and risks associated with the decision to determine the necessary speed and scope of decision-making.


  • What is the potential impact of this decision on the company, team, and stakeholders?
  • What risks are involved, and how can they be mitigated?
  • Is this a high-stakes decision that requires extensive consultation, or can it be made quickly?

Gathering Data and Removing Bias

Objective: Collect comprehensive data and diverse perspectives to ensure an unbiased and well-informed decision.


  • Engage with stakeholders to gather relevant information and opinions.
  • Use asynchronous methods like collaborative documents to collect input without dominating conversations.
  • Avoid relying solely on presentations that may present a biased view or silence quieter voices.
  • Ensure that all relevant facts and diverse perspectives are considered in the decision-making process.

Committing to the Decision

Objective: Once a decision is made, commit to it fully and trust the process and the decision-maker.


  • Decent and Commit: Even if there is some disagreement, once a decision is made, everyone should commit to it and work towards its success.
  • Trust the process: Have confidence in the decision-making framework and the individuals involved.

Disseminating the Decision

Objective: Communicate the decision and its rationale clearly and effectively to all relevant parties.


  • Inform all stakeholders and individuals listed as “Informed” about the decision and the reasons behind it.
  • Provide clear documentation and context to ensure everyone understands the decision and its implications.
  • Use appropriate channels to disseminate this information, ensuring accessibility and transparency.

Following these guidelines will help us make better decisions that are informed, inclusive, and effective. By clearly defining goals, roles, assessing impact, gathering diverse data, committing to decisions, and disseminating information, we can foster a culture of thoughtful and strategic decision-making at our company.

Remember, good decision-making is a skill that can be developed and refined. Trust the process, seek input, and always strive for clarity and inclusivity in your decisions.

Tips & Tricks for Decision-making

Front Page News

Guiding Principle: If something you did unexpectedly made front-page news, would you be proud of the decision you made?

This principle centers on integrity. We understand that some conversations and decisions will occur behind closed doors, and not everyone can or will participate. However, we should always operate knowing that we could, in good conscience, publicly defend every decision we make. This means:

  • Ethical Conduct: Always adhere to the highest ethical standards. Make decisions that reflect our company’s values and principles, ensuring that they are morally and ethically sound.
  • Transparency: While not all details can be public, the rationale behind our decisions should be clear and understandable. If asked to explain, we should be able to provide a solid, honest justification for our actions.
  • Accountability: Be prepared to stand by your decisions. If they were to be scrutinized by the public or media, would you feel confident and justified in the choices you made? Accountability means owning your decisions and their outcomes, both good and bad.
  • Reputation: Consider the impact of your decisions on the company’s reputation. Each choice you make should enhance, not tarnish, the trust and respect we’ve built with our stakeholders.

By upholding this principle, we ensure that our decision-making process is guided by integrity, fostering a culture of trust and respect within our company and with the public.

Leverage the Company Mission Statement, Values, and Principles

When you find yourself struggling or stuck, use the company’s mission statement, values, and principles as a guiding light. Revisiting these core elements can provide clarity and direction, helping you align your decisions with the overarching goals and ethical standards of the organization. This alignment ensures that your decisions contribute positively to the company's long-term objectives and culture.

Facilitate Debates Among Peers

To gain new perspectives, have a small group of 3-4 knowledgeable individuals debate the topic on your behalf. Choose people who are informed about the situation but not the decision makers themselves. As you observe their discussion, you’ll gather diverse viewpoints and insights that you might not have considered, aiding in a more well-rounded and informed decision.

Implement the 90 Seconds Exercise

When facing a challenging decision, use the 90 seconds exercise to quickly gather input from stakeholders. Give each stakeholder 90 seconds to collect their thoughts, followed by 90 seconds each to present their ideas, facts, and opinions to the decision maker. This structured approach ensures that all voices are heard succinctly and that the decision maker receives a broad range of input to inform their final decision.

Collaborate Through Documents in Early Stages

In the initial stages of decision-making, use collaborative documents to gather input and feedback. This approach helps prevent extroverted individuals from dominating the conversation and ensures that all team members can contribute their insights. By documenting everyone's thoughts, you can examine the problem holistically and reduce bias, leading to more balanced and thorough decision-making.

Defend and Analyze All Options Equally

Spend time defending why options you might initially dislike are still viable. Create comprehensive pros and cons lists for every potential solution. By defending all sides equally, you challenge your assumptions and ensure that you’re considering all possible outcomes objectively. This thorough analysis helps in making a more balanced and informed decision.

Use a Risk/Impact Matrix

Utilize a risk/impact matrix to guide the decision-making process based on the level of risk and impact associated with each option:

  • High Risk, High Impact: Requires more people, extensive data collection, and rigorous analysis. These decisions should be made with greater deliberation and involve more stakeholders to ensure all potential risks are mitigated.
  • Low Risk, Low Impact: Can be made more quickly with fewer people and less data. These decisions typically don’t require extensive deliberation and can be executed efficiently.

By tailoring your approach based on the risk and impact, you can allocate resources appropriately and make decisions in a timely and effective manner.

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