The success or failure of a project is dependent on the strength of the leadership. It is vital for the project managers to be skilled enough so that they can show their decision-making skills. Studies indicate that of all the skills that a project manager should have, decision-making is the most important skill (Kamm & Nurick, 2013). Efficiency decision making is crucial for comprehending the existing options and ensuring that the managers can choose the best one to fulfill the project objectives. However, inefficient decisions show the incompetence of the project managers. There are different styles of decision making that can be taken by the project managers on project to project basis. However, efficient project managers ensure that they can adjust their decision level to different situations (Klein, 2018). For instance, if an employee asks for an emergency level within the project, the manager should be able to ensure that he is given a leave without compromising on the progress of the project. Therefore, different situations need proper consideration of the stakeholders. The decisions of a manager ensure his worthiness and success for the organisation.
The focus of the report is to critically reflect on key themes for the subject including individual and group decision-making processes, different sources of data and analysis and various other aspects of decision-making.
The project which is considered for evaluation of various decision making analysis is the expansion plan of an Australian company, which seeks to strategically grow its business in Asian countries. This australian company is a restaurant which is very popular in Australia and loved by the native people for its authentic food. However, the restaurant’s management has found Asian markets extremely attractive in terms of their cuisine and wide audience. The management believes that if the restaurant’s operations expands to Asian markets, it can be extremely profitable for the business. For this, there are various factors that are considered by the management to take the decisions about different aspects of expansion.
The sources of data, and the use of data analytics to identify trends/ patterns that form the evidence for decision-making;
The management used a rational decision making model for determining the trends/patterns to take the decisions. This is a complicated decision as the restaurant has to enter Asian market and management needs to ensure they understand the food requirements well (Klein, 2018). This is due to the fact that if they take decisions in a hurry then they can end up being failed. The rational decision making model can enable the managers of the restaurant to choose between setting the restaurant in an appropriate way. This model has six steps that are interlinked to each other. Six steps of a rational decision making model are as follows.
- Define the problem: the first step is to define the problem such that the managers can use their skills and abilities to find strategies to resolve them. It is vital for the managers to define the problem effectively. At this stage, the managers of the Australian restaurant needs to define the problem i.e. to expand their business in Asian market and how they can plan to enter into these markets. All these things have to be defined at this stage.
- Determine the criteria to judge possible solutions: the second stage is about determining the criteria for evaluating the alternatives. There can be several options available for the management of the Australian restaurant to expand in Asian market but they have to ensure that they take the best entry strategy. This can ensure that their plan to expand in Asian markets can be successful.
- Choosing the importance of every criteria: The third method is to select the importance of every option so that the managers do not miss out on small details. This can ensure that the managers make the best decisions.
- Developing a list of possible outcomes: the fourth stage is about developing a list of possible consequences from all the options that are considered.
- Evaluating these options: The fifth stage is evaluating the options so that their outcomes can be measured in an appropriate way. This can enable the managers of the Australian restaurant to decide if they have chosen the best strategy or not.
- Getting the best solution: the final step is to choose the best strategy to enter the Asian markets and ensure that this is the best decision taken by the managers of the Australian restaurant.
In certain cases, there may be a need for the management of the restaurant to consider more factors. The rational decision making model considers various factors due to which the final decisions can be inefficient (Klibanoff, Marinacci & Mukerji, 2015). However, the rational decision making model can help in reducing the risk and uncertainty level. The management of the restaurant can use this model to provide the best solutions considering time constraints are there.
The decision making process is a defined process with seven key stages that play a vital role in providing the best decisions. The seven key stages of the decision making are as follows.
Determine the decision
The first step for the managers is to determine the decision. This includes defining the nature of the decision that the managers should take (Levin & Nolan, 2017).
The second step is to gather relevant information so that the final decision can be made. For this, the managers have to focus on key sources that can be used for taking the decision and then considering the internal and external work. Certain information can be internal which is sourced through company records while certain information is external, which is available on the internet.
The third step is to collect the information and determine various possible strategies available. One can effectively use the information to develop new options. Hence, this step is about determining various options (Yüksel, 2016).
At this stage, the focus of the managers is on drawing the information and emotions so that proper solutions can be found out. The managers have to evaluate all the options present with them so that they can take the final option.
After the evaluation is done, the stage is about choosing the alternatives. When all the evidence is measured, it is vital to choose the alternatives that are best. This also requires a combination of various alternatives.
Taking different strategies
At this stage, there is a need for taking various strategies so that the final decision can be made.
Reviewing the decisions and its outcomes
After all the processes are over, the managers have to review their decision which they have taken by evaluating the outcomes.
The figure below indicates the 7 steps for effective decision making.
Source: Yüksel, 2016
The managers of the Australian restaurant can take these steps to take effective decisions.
Decision Making Tools
The management of the restaurant can choose different decision making tools for taking appropriate decisions. These decision making tools facilitate the managers to ensure that they can take appropriate decisions and choose to enter the Asian industry in an effective way. These are as under.
Marginal Analysis: The first decision making tool which can be used by the management of the restaurant is marginal analysis, which can help in weighing the benefits of an activity against the costs (Yüksel, 2016). This analysis helps the business leaders to consider if the existing activity is providing maximum ROI or not. The management of the restaurant can determine if the Asian market can help them get the profits they have estimated or not. The marginal analysis requires changing a variable including quantity of an input used by the managers. When one determines that variable, the managers can determine the increase in the total benefits.
Source: Kamm & Nurick, 2013
In the marginal cost, the managers have to ensure that the benefit is the same as estimating the cost. This ensures that the new plan can enable the managers of the Australian restaurant to take effective decisions in an appropriate way, the managers have to ensure that their decision does not prove bad for the current business. Hence, they have to use a combination of various decision making tools.
Another decision making tool which can be used by the managers of the Australian restaurant is SWOT analysis. This decision making tool is used when the managers plan a significant change in the business (Klein, 2018). SWOT analysis is about determining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the organisation. The strengths are the points at which the company is better than its competitors and how the internal and external resources can be used for acquiring objectives. The weaknesses are the areas where the company can enhance. This needs taking a neutral approach and also considering the factors that can be harmful for the organisation. Opportunities are the points that the company is good at (Klibanoff, Marinacci & Mukerji, 2015). These are determined by understanding the strengths and then thinking about creating new openings for the business. This also enables the organisation to remove their weaknesses. The final factors are threats that are the challenges faced by the company.
Swot Analysis enables the managers to determine the forces influencing a specific strategy or initiative. The managers of the Australian restaurant can use this information to make the business go in the right direction and also support the business decisions. It is vital to consider various views of the stakeholders when using SWOT analysis for taking apt decisions. As far as Asian market is concerned, it is highly attractive as people are fond of eating and also the Asian countries like India and China have huge populations. Also, Asian people are not just fond of their own authentic food but diversified food items due to which Australian restaurants can be successful in its operations. However, Asian market already has several well-developed restaurants due to which entering this market can be difficult. There is a need to consider various factors in order to make the right decisions. Hence, SWOT analysis can be an effective decision making tool for the managers of Australian restaurants.
The third decision-making tool which can be used is Decision Matrix. It is vital to use this decision making tool when the managers deal with many choices and variables. This is due to the fact that a decision matrix helps in bringing a lot of clarity for the managers. A decision matrix is the same as developing a pros-cons list for the problem (Klibanoff, Marinacci & Mukerji, 2015). However, the managers are enabled to focus on a high level of importance on every factor. Decision making matrix includes various crucial things. These things help in developing an efficient decision matrix.
- Listing down the decision alternatives as different rows
- Listing relevant factors as columns
- Developing a consistent scale to examine the value of every alternative
- Determine the importance of every factor and then taking the final decision
- Focusing on original ratings by the weighted rankings
- Considering all the factors under every decision alternative
- Considering the option which has highest scores
In this case where an Australian restaurant aims at expanding in the Asian market, the decision can be taken by considering various entry strategies that can be taken by the firm. The management can use factors including attractiveness, reliability, image and competitiveness of the Asian market to decide if they should go ahead with their plan or not. Hence, managers in this case can consider developing a decision matrix to understand all the variables and constants and then taking the final decision.
It can be concluded that decisions made during the problem-solving sessions decide if the business will be successful or not. In the example taken, the management of the restaurant needs to ensure that they take appropriate decision making tools to make the final decision of expanding in Asian market or not. The management needs to invest proper time and cost into this new project so that they can be successful.
Kamm, J. B., & Nurick, A. J. (2013). The stages of team venture formation: A decision-making model. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 17(2), 17-27.
Klein, G. A. (2018). A recognition-primed decision (RPD) model of rapid decision making. Decision making in action: Models and methods, 5(4), 138-147.
Klibanoff, P., Marinacci, M., & Mukerji, S. (2015). A smooth model of decision making under ambiguity. Econometrica, 73(6), 1849-1892.
Levin, J., & Nolan, J. F. (2017). Principles of classroom management: A professional decision-making model. Pearson. One Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458.
Yüksel, I. (2016). Developing a multi-criteria decision making model for PESTEL analysis. International Journal of Business and Management, 7(24), 52.