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Decision making is not undertaken for the fun of it. Theres a reason behind the need to make a decision. It could be an issue or problem that needs addressing or related to something new being introduced. Often decisions are due to external factors such as changes in legislation or new technology advancements, possibly a shift in customer demand requires decisions around products and services.

What ever the decision, large or small it needs to have an objective and an end goal. What is going to be achieved?

Scope refers to the potential of that decision so what are the parameters and how significant is the decision. This leads onto the extent of the impact of the decision which could potentially be a huge success or massive fail.

So we of course need success criteria so that we know how we will measure that impact. Its probably best to think of a couple of examples here to demonstrate.

Imagine the scenario:

You have a reoccurring issue in your team and its related to a current process. The process is complicated and team members find it difficult to follow often making mistakes and becoming frustrated. Your decision is to analyse the process and find the critical point that causes the problem.

The objectives are therefore:

Redesign the process

Eliminate / reduce the error occurring

Simplify to be user friendly

Improve team morale

The scope will depend on how much of a problem it was and how frequent it occurred but lets assume it was significant and each error caused a delay of 10 minutes with the error occurring an average of 3 times a week so you are looking at saving 30 minutes a week which will amount to £50 per week, again on average. This is the scope or potential for the decision to have an impact.

Success criteria need to be set so you can measure the extent to which your new redesigned process has had an impact and this would involve attached some indicators to your objectives such as monitoring the errors with the new process, engaging with the team on usability and speed and of course measuring their reduced frustration.

Its sounds simple when we look at it this way and there are of course much more complex issues in the real world that require some tough decisions.

Learners undertaking the level 3 in Management will find this assists with the following criteria:

Unit 302 ML15 1.1 Explain the importance of defining the objectives, scope and success criteria of the decisions to be taken