Factual Approach to Decision Making

Effective decisions are based on the analysis of data and information.

In order to make informed decisions, it is imperative to have data and information that are accurate and reliable, and provided easily for those who require it. Personnel need to be in a position, or have the authority to make decisions and take appropriate actions, based on outcomes of factual analysis, balanced with knowledge, experience in interpreting information, and insight.

Emphasis is put on top management to outline its commitment to quality in a quality policy statement, and it is supported by management system reviews. Decisions are made at these reviews as to the effectiveness and efficiency of managing the organization's performance.

Inputs for these reviews are from monitoring and measurement, analysis of data, internal audits, nonconforming product reports, customer feedback, process performance, status of corrective/preventive actions, and recommendations for improvements. It is important that the decisions in these management reviews are made based on factual information about the best alternatives, and that decisions are documented, communicated, and reviewed.

Also, personnel need to feel secure in making decisions; you need to create a constructive environment, involving the right people and allowing opinions and information to be shared.

In any decision-making process there is some degree of uncertainty, and it is important to use risk analysis, evaluating the risks associated with the various options to ensure they are manageable.


Focus: Quality – Customer

1 What decisions were made in the last management review? What were the decisions based on? Is this information made available to those who need it?

2 Are decisions and actions based on factual analysis of data (generated from monitoring and measurement), and balanced with past business experience?

a. Customer satisfaction

b. Product requirement conformity

c. Process and product trends and characteristics

d. Suppliers

3 Are you confident in the tools used for business analysis for your marketing program?

4 Are you able to align revenue and sales operations, improve employee productivity, and reduce errors?

5 What follow-up is done on actions to check if data was accurate and reliable?

6 Does management provide a supportive environment for personnel to make creative decisions, or is it a “play it safe,” “pass the blame” atmosphere?

7 How has the organization used technology to support faster decision making and information sharing (tracking of issues online, web meetings enabling participants to solve problems collaboratively)?

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