Without doubts, good decision-making at all levels is important for any organization that wants to achieve its mission as it is captured in its mission statement. It is therefore also important that the organization, when faced with a decision to adopt one of the various decision-making techniques available and implement it fully and successfully. Decision-making techniques are approaches that guide an organization, individual, or other entity in making decisions that are in line with its goals, objectives, or mission. Examples of decision-making techniques include T-chart, Edward de Bono’s PMI technique, Buridan’s ass, measured criteria, decision matrix (weighted decision table), etc. Naturally and considering short and long-term significance to an organization, some decisions are more important than others. If necessary, more important decisions override those of relatively little importance, and as such, decision levels have been developed to aid in identifying the importance of a decision to an organization.
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Strategic decision making is considered to be of the highest level (Harris, 1998). Decisions made at this level are what give an organization, individual or other entity its general direction and long term goals. They, again, also define the organization’s or individual’s philosophy and values. Inherently, strategic decisions are unstructured, very imaginative, and potentially risky, owing to the uncertain nature of their outcome. The second-highest decision-making level is the tactical decision-making level (Harris 1998). Decisions made at this level support those made at the strategic level. Tactical decisions are at the medium range, and their significance, as well as consequences, are moderate as well (Harris 1998). The final and third-highest decision-making level is the operational decision-making level. Operational decisions are made on a daily basis and support tactical decisions.
Kava, an island country in the South Pacific, is where Nik’s company wants to establish a greater presence. From the business scenario, one of Kava’s strengths is its quality and inexpensive labor. An outstanding weakness, as deduced from the business scenario, is that the country lacks systems and mechanisms to protect itself from the various disasters it is prone to. Additionally, there is no mention of systems or mechanisms that mitigate the effects of such disasters when their strike. Opportunities in Kava lie in its diverse investment areas, which include petroleum, agriculture, and tourism. Kava’s threat is its vulnerability to both natural and artificial disasters. Considering that, the government of Kava is asking Nik’s company to help it with its social needs and also considering Chris Morales’s (company founder) inspiration of doing what is right then the apt decision-making technique to adopt in Kava will be PMI.
In the PMI technique, developed by Edward De Bono and which is an advancement of the T-chart technique, a list is made of all the pluses, minuses, and interesting aspects surrounding a decision to be made (Harris, 1998). The first and very critical step of the PMI technique is planning for the decision making process. One of the major benefits of planning for the decision-making process is that clear and independent goals has established that guide the decision-making process (Harris, 1998, 5). The effect of this is that decisions made are not forced by external drivers but are the end result of a well-organized series of choices. Another benefit of planning for the decision-making process is that a standard of measuring the effectiveness of decisions to be made is defined and established (Harris, 1998, 6). The importance of this is that the entity adopting the PMI technique is able to determine whether the decisions it makes are steering it to achieve its goals or not.
Another benefit of planning for the decision-making process is that values are converted into actions (Harris, 1998, 7). A decision-making plan enables an entity to determine how suitable a decision is in achieving its goals or mission. It additionally ensures that the decisions made are consistent in aiding the company to achieve its mission and goals. Another benefit of planning for the decision-making process is that the decision-making process is made budget-friendly (Harris, 1998, 8). A decision-making plan ensures that a limit is set to the number of resources and time allocated to the decision-making activity and, thus, in effect, eliminates unnecessary expenses.
The second step in Edward De Bono’s PMI technique is preparing the PMI worksheet (Mind Tools Ltd, 2012, 3). The PMI worksheet is prepared by drawing three columns in a sheet of paper and heading them, respectively, plus, minus and interesting (Mind Tools Ltd, 2012, 3). Once the PMI worksheet is completed, consider each given decision and the action it necessitates, and note its positives on the plus column of the worksheet (Mind Tools Ltd, 2012, 4). Still considering the decision and its action, note down all its negatives in the minus column (Mind Tools Ltd, 2012, 4). In the interesting column of the PMI worksheet, note down all known and possible implications surrounding the decision to be made whether there are positive or negative (Mind Tools Ltd, 2012, 6). In some cases, by the time the PMI worksheet is completely filled, it should be obvious whether the decision should be taken or not. If not, the third step in the PMI technique is associating a score to each of the plusses and minuses in the worksheet (Mind Tools Ltd, 2012, 5). Once you have completed the third step, the fourth step is to do a summation of all the plusses and minuses and evaluating the result (Mind Tools Ltd, 2012, 5). The PMI technique directs that if the summation results in a strong positive score then the decision should be taken and if it results in a strongly negative score then the decision should not be taken (Mind Tools Ltd, 2012, 6)
Critical thinking is considered an approach to thinking that enables individual actions to be purely objective (Kurland, 2001, 1). Critical thinking is associated with a number of traits that are rationality, self-awareness, honesty, open-mindedness, discipline, and judgment (Kurland, 2001, 1). Examining the Edward De Bono’s PMI technique, it is evident that the technique is founded on rationality. This is because the positives and negatives are considered and a decision made on whether to adopt the decision or not. Edward De Bono’s PMI technique also supports open-mindedness as not only are the positives and negatives taken into account but also the interesting facts surrounding a decision to be made.
Edward De Bono’s supports discipline in that it first and foremost necessitates the need for a decision-making plan, which guides the whole decision-making process. By being a decision-making technique, Edward de Bono’s PMI technique supports the making of effective judgments. By using the critical thinking theory to evaluate the effectiveness of Edward de Bono’s PMI technique as a decision-making technique to use in the business scenario described, it is found that the technique is compatible with most of the theory and therefore is effective.
Harris, R. (1998). Decision making techniques. VirtualSalt. Web.
Kurland D. J. (2000). What is critical thinking?. Web.
Mind Tools Ltd. (2012). Plus, minus, interesting weighing the pros and cons of a decision. Web.