A decision is an act of reaching a conclusion in one’s mind. The decision making process is a cognitive process that results in the selection of one proposed idea over another. In order for the decision making process to be productive, a careful planning process must take place. Planning is important to decision making because it helps to define the purpose, goals, and scope of the decision. Ensuring that the person making the decision “Ask, Acquire, Appraise, Apply, and Assess” the entire situation is essential, Making decisions on evidence-based research and with the best interest of the organization tends to give the best results.
Types of Plans
Strategic planning is used by organizations to establish their goals, define their strategies, and make decisions. Strategic plans incorporate the formulation and implementation of various processes. Organizational plans are specific to an organization’s goals in a particular organizational area. It lists a plan of work, programs affected, and time frame for accomplishing these goals. Specific plans are veritable tools used for implanting general policies without substantial legal challenge to the nature of their cause. Objectives are straight forward. In situations when flexibility in warranted, directional plans are used. Directional plans are flexible and provide managers with a set of general guidelines but do not lock managers into a particular course of action.
Before any decision can be made, part of the planning process includes setting goals. Goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound). Goals serve as a basis for grouping people, organizations, and ideas. Specific goals are focused and state exactly what the organization believes it needs to accomplish. Not only do goals need to descriptive and focus, but they also need to be written so that they can be readily understandable by all those involved. Measurable goals are quantifiable. They address important questions such as how many and how much. The goal should be challenging but realistic and attainable. Attainable goals allow for flexibility. Short-term goals should be relevant to long-term goals. Any goal adopted and implemented by an organization should advance the mission and vision of the organization. Ensuring that the goals that are set are reached in a reasonable time is imperative. Goals should have a beginning, end, and intermediate points for evaluation.
Decision Making Process
In most local and state health departments, decisions are currently being made as to how to better serve underprivileged people, many of whom speak different languages and embody various cultures. If I had any influence in this decision making process, I would begin by assessing patient needs. I would also want to evaluate the employee needs. I would incorporate the expertise of multiple physicians, family values, availability of resources in the community. After analyzing all data collected I would establish a plan (See Figure1: The Five As in the Decision Making Process). The evaluation process would determine if my decision and implementation of alternative plans were making a difference in both patient satisfaction and employee morale. When it comes to making a decision, the first thing is to ask what the needs are for the organization.
It is then necessary to acquire information. The research based evidence will provide the data for making these determinations. Appraising the situation and determining how the decisions you make will not only affect you but also how it will impact the organization as a whole is as necessary as a first step in the decision making process. Once you have considered both the potential negative and positive impacts, it is time to apply your decision. After the decision has been applied, it must be accessed to determine if the goals and mission of the organization are truly being obtained. Using this evidence based research to make decisions will ultimately provide this organization with a more successful future.
Making a decision and successfully implementing that decision requires various steps and hard work. These plans must remain flexible but must also align with the organization’s goals and missions. Goal setting requires three things: reviewing the organization’s mission; evaluating available resources, and obtaining the goals by writing them down and effectively communication these goals with those involved. Because the utilization the 5 “As” is evidence based, it may assist with eliminating any conflicts they may arrive. Managers need to focus on sound decision making processes to enhance the planning process and consistently reach organizational goals.
Grey, K.D. (2014, January). 5 Steps to good decision making. Corporate Wellness Magazine. Liebler, MA, MPA, RHIA, J., & McConnell, MBA, CM, C.R. (2012). Management principles for health professionals (6th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database. Robins, S.P. & Coulter, M. (2012). Management (11th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
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