Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements  ASSIGNMENTIdentify a problem at work that you think needs to be addressed. Ideally it would be one where you have the authority to make a decision—but if you can’t come up with something, take on the role of someone who would have the authority. Complete a stakeholder analysis, including mapping interested parties with a Power/Interest Grid as described in the background materials.Assignment ExpectationsPaper should be 2 pages in length.Explicitly apply the concepts from the course to your analysis.Be sure to include an introduction and conclusion, and if you refer to any outside source of information, be sure to cite the source and list it on a reference page. See Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper.BACKGROUND MATERIAL:The Art of Decision MakingBy studying the steps of decision making, we can learn to follow a process that improves the quality of our decisions. Read the following article on procedures and methods involved in superior decision making. There is a lot of information in this reading, so read it slowly and deliberately, as we will be focusing on these processes for the rest of the course.Introduction to Decision Making (2008). VirtualSalt. http://www.virtualsalt.com/crebook5.htmThere are a number of techniques that can be used to improve decision quality. In this module, we will look at some techniques to help establish a constructive environment for decision making.Step 1: What do you want to accomplish?It may sound obvious, but make sure you establish a clear understanding of what problem the decision will address. In other words, why do you need to make this decision? Making decisions that only affect symptoms do little to fix the underlying causes. The 5 Whys is a technique widely used in business to get to the root cause of any issue. This will frame the decision in the right context.The 5 Whys Method. (2008). Intelligent Quality Management. http://www.mapwright.com.au/newsletter/fivewhys.pdfStep 2: Who needs to be involved?Leaders who make good decisions regularly give consideration to who should be involved in the decision. Who has a stake in the decision? How powerful are they and how much interest do they have in the outcome? The following site discusses these factors and shows you how to create a Power/Interest Grid to map your critical stakeholders.Stakeholder Analysis: Winning Support for your Projects (2009). Mind Tools. http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_07.htmStep 3: Who needs to make the decision?Decisions can be made by individuals or groups—how do you know what is best for this particular situation? The Vroom-Yetton-Jago Decision tree is a great tool for determining the optimum decision style—whether the leader makes the decision alone, in consultation with others, or cedes the decision authority to a group. For a description of the V-Y-J Decision Tree, visit this website.Vroom-Yetton-Jago Normative Decision Model (n.d.) http://faculty.css.edu/dswenson/web/LEAD/vroom-yetton.htmlStep 4: Make sure all voices are heardIf you are going to use a group or team to make the decision, it is critical that all members contribute to the decision. How do you avoid situations where the most vocal people dominate the process? How do you avoid conflict that can deteriorate into a shouting match? The Stepladder Technique is an easy method to insure that all opinions are given proper consideration.Making better group decisions with the stepladder theory. (2009). http://www.taskmanagementguide.com/planning-tasks/making-better-group-decisions-with-stepladder-theory.phpRequired ReadingThe 5 Whys Method. (2008). Intelligent Quality Management. http://www.mapwright.com.au/newsletter/fivewhys.pdfIntroduction to Decision Making (2008). VirtualSalt. http://www.virtualsalt.com/crebook5.htmMaking better group decisions with the stepladder theory. (2009). http://www.taskmanagementguide.com/planning-tasks/making-better-group-decisions-with-stepladder-theory.phpStakeholder Analysis: Winning Support for your Projects (2009). Mind Tools. http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_07.htmVroom-Yetton-Jago Normative Decision Model (n.d.) http://faculty.css.edu/dswenson/web/LEAD/vroom-yetton.html

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