Decision Making Styles
The following report is going to explain about decision making in my workplace, it is going to be split into 3 major bodies. Identifying information, analyse the information and communicate the results. Decision making can take time for some decisions to be made, others will take no time at all as we make them every day, unknown to us, every minute of every day we are making management decisions without knowing it.
We are going to concentrate on larger decisions to be made, not every day issues, Decision making is all about gathering information, anlysing it, understanding the pros and cons of each path to be taken and deciding which to take to get where you need to go, some steps are easier if shared with others within the team. Be able to identify and select sources of data and information What is information? According to your dictionary online, data can be defined as facts or figures to be processed; evidence, records, statistics, etc. rom which conclusions can be inferred and information in a form suitable for storing and processing by a computer.
Data is basically statistics based on information. Data only becomes information when it is processed to be meaningful, processed for a reason and understood by the recipient. Within my establishment I have various possibilities of which information is gained, Most of the information I need to make a decision is available fairly easily, this is available on the internet within BAE systems.
Lets take a scenario – my team has a bank of pipes to fit within the pressure hull of the submarine. The information needed is from isometric and arrangement drawings that show were in the correct place these pipes will go, the drawings are available from DIPS a section that issues all drawings to BAE personnel.
There are two types of drawings one is an arrangement and there are isometrics. Arrangement drawings give most of information needed to install the pipes, like how they joint together e. g. lange, weld or screwed fittings ETC, it also shows which pipes connect to each other, within the backing sheets the information given is the corporate part numbers of all identified fittings and things needed to fit the system. The isometrics show each pipe separately, showing the pipes dimensions, bend data and datum’s giving exact information to the individual pipe. All this information is just the first part of info needed to fit the system, as well as these drawings, other information is needed, process instructions on how the best practice to set a pipe up for welding, clipping a grade 1 pipe system ECT.
This information is also gained from the internet, from a part called the process library. This information is used to do the job as that is the way it should be done and there is no deviation from this, it should be followed to the letter to get it the job done right. As well as the process instructions, as a technical team we have to use standards, thease are from standards of fitting clips down to standards of shock clearance. Some are written and some are Pictorial see below [pic] All of the information needed is on the BAE internet. All the standards and process instructions are freely available, for everyone to use.
To do the scenario as mentioned at the beginning, all of the above information is selected and used as it is part of the process flow and what is needed to do the job correctly. The drawings that are received from DIPS are subject to different classifications, most if not all are restricted due to there content, every employee has signed the official secrets act before being employed within BAE submarine solutions and know that thease are to stay within the company and not to be distributed to outside sources. Once thease drawings have been used they need to go back to the place of issue to be disposed of in the correct way.
Be able to analyse and present information to support decision making What is Decision Making? Decision making is the cognitive process leading to the selection of a course of action among variations. Every decision making process produces a final choice (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Decision_making). Good decision making is an essential skill for career success generally. If you can learn to make timely and well-considered decisions, then you can often earn well-deserved success. However, if you make poor decisions you are more likely to be in trouble and not asked again. Decision making styles
There are 3 main decision making styles which include the following: 1. Autocratic – decisions made predominantly by the manager 2. Democratic – decisions based on discussions by the manager and others involved 3. Participative – these are decisions made predominantly by those Below is a decision making model showing steps to be taken [pic] Step 1: Identify the decision to be made. You realize that a decision must be made. You then go through an internal process of trying to define clearly the nature of the decision you must make. This first step is a very important one Step 2: Gather relevant information.
Most decisions require collecting pertinent information. The real trick in this step is to know what information is needed, the best sources of this information, and how to go about getting it. Some information must be sought from within yourself through a process of self-assessment; other information must be sought from outside yourself-from books, people, and a variety of other sources. This step, therefore, involves both internal and external “work”. Step 3: Identify alternatives. Through the process of collecting information you will probably identify several possible paths of action, or alternatives.
You may also use your imagination and information to construct new alternatives. In this step of the decision-making process, you will list all possible and desirable alternatives Step 4: Weigh evidence. In this step, you draw on your information and emotions to imagine what it would be like if you carried out each of the alternatives to the end. You must evaluate whether the need identified in Step 1 would be helped or solved through the use of each alternative. In going through this difficult internal process, you begin to favour certain alternatives which appear to have higher potential for reaching your goal.
Eventually you are able to place the alternatives in priority order, based upon your own value system. Step 5: Choose among alternatives. Once you have weighed all the evidence, you are ready to select the alternative which seems to be best suited to you. You may even choose a combination of alternatives. Your choice in Step 5 may very likely be the same or similar to the alternative you placed at the top of your list at the end of Step 4 Step 6: Take action. You now take some positive action which begins to implement the alternative you chose in Step 5 Step 7: Review decision and consequences.
In the last step you experience the results of your decision and evaluate whether or not it has “solved” the need you identified in Step 1. If it has, you may stay with this decision for some period of time. If the decision has not resolved the identified need, you may repeat certain steps of the process in order to make a new decision. You may, for example, gather more detailed or somewhat different information or discover additional alternatives on which to base your decision Group Decision Making The benefits and problems with group decision making below: Benefits |Problems | |Pooling ideas together |Conflict could arise through disagreement | |Covering all eventualities |Too many options on offer | |Improving the likelihood of acceptance at |Decisions could be slowed down | |high levels as the whole team have | | |agreed | | |Ability to build on various suggestions |Accountability as no one person is | | |responsible | |Prevent rushing into decisions that may | | |be regretted later | | |Give more scope for creativity | |
An example of group decision making, would be in my IWT (integrated work team) meeting, if an issue came up regarding a piece of work within the plan that can’t be fit, we, as a team would talk about it, planners team leaders and myself would make a group decision weather to move it to the right in the plan, split it up or add some more kit to the activity. Risks to Group Decision Making Some managers find it difficult to make decisions, especially if there is a high level of risk involved in them. Some risks are as follows: • Making unpopular decisions or getting it wrong can leave you open to criticism by others • Getting it wrong causes other problems for some people because they like to be liked by their colleagues. • Some decisions will have a financial penalty such as going over budget or losing money. To minimize risk you need to gather information that may give you some indication of what might go wrong. The riskier the decisions the more information required. Main Risk |Minimising Risks | |Something will prevent you implementing |Get quality information on which to base | |your decision |your decision | |The risk that your decision will not |Be rigorous with your decisions making | |produce the effects you expect | | | |Always have a contingency plan | | |Don’t introduce risks by delaying the | | |implementation of your decision | Decision making tools In order to make effective decisions there are some tools and techniques that may help. Some decisions making tools I use include the following: • Brainstorming – this helps generate lots of ideas. • Mind Mapping – this is a tool I use after I have carried out a brain storm. It is on the mind map I can organise my ideas better and allow structure to decision.
These tools are good when we need to do something different, as most of our work is mapped out for us a shown on page 4, when we have a challenging decision to make brain storming is useful to get ideas down and evaluate each one separately finding its advantages and disadvantages. Be able to communicate the results of information analysis and decisions In business no matter how hard people try there are always barriers that can prevent us from communicating effectively. Organisations that fail to do well often suggest that their failure is due to the inability to working around the barriers. Communication is so important in business and all barriers should try to be worked around to ensure an effective, efficient business.
To communicate affectively the language should be understandable to the receiver and in a format that is easy to translate. Information should only be transmitted to those who really need in and at a time that would be most useful. Communication is the sharing between groups of two or more people to reach a common understanding. Communication involves making sure you communicate clearly so others understand your ideas, suggestions, instructions and requests. Communication allows the following: • Understanding your work situation • Quickly making decisions and solving problems • Respond to situations as they change • Improve relationships between others The model shown below is illustrates effective communication: Sender – this is the person or group wishing to share information • Message – the information that a sender wants to share • Encoding – translating a message into understandable symbols or language • Noise – anything that hampers any stage of the communication process • Receiver – the person or group for which a message is intended • Medium – the pathway through which an encoded message is transmitted to a receiver • Decoding – interpreting and trying to make sense of a message [pic] [pic] Dangers and Barriers Some experts claim that people like to spend 85% of your time engaged in some form of communication and that ineffective communication damages organisational performance. There are many barriers to communication which include: • Noise 13 • Assuming the receiver has the information • Assuming the receiver understands the message • The receiver assuming that the sender meant rather than checking • The receiver deliberately misinterprets the message because they do not like its content The sender deliberately sends a misleading message Communication within BAE tends to contain jargon. Jargon is words or abbreviations that are rarely understood by people that aren’t familiar with or that are new to the company. E mails tend to be sent around camp that are cascades of information from the senior management team to the supervisors and then to everyone else. Some of the information contained in the e mails have abbreviations that not everyone understands or that aren’t explained properly. Trust is so important within BAE. It is difficult to communicate with a person if you feel you can’t trust them especially if the information is sensitive.
The senior management team sometimes have very strong views and ideas about certain aspects of the business. This can become problematic if they chose not to listen to the thoughts of people working on the next level. By not listening and taking things on board this may cause a bit of tension and unhappiness within the work force. Methods of Communication Spoken methods of communication involve people actually speaking and often supplies you with an instant response. In some circumstances it is possible to see the person you are communication with for example in a meeting. The most common methods of spoken communication I use at work and their advantages and disadvantages are detailed in the table below. Verbal Method |Advantages |Disadvantages | |Telephone |I can talk to someone |Unfortunately on the phone | | |directly and get an answer |the person needs to be at | | |right away. |their desk to take the call I can’t see the | | | |person’s | | | |face when I talk to them. | | | I can’t gauge their body | | | |language and facial expressions. | |Meetings |Allows me to provide |I need to be chairing the | | |information to a few |meeting to ensure I get | | |people at the same time |what I need from the | | |rather than individually |meeting | | |which saves time.
It people to discuss the |Lack of attendance by key | | |information together in an |players can hold up the | | |open forum |decision making process | | |Decisions can be made by |Meeting can over run | | |more than one person |which means decisions | | | |may be rushed. |Face to Face |This gives me both verbal |I need to locate the person | | |and non verbal feedback |before I can talk to them | | |immediately |The person may allow | | |I can get undivided |themselves to be side | | |attention from the person |tracked by other things if it | | |There is no details of what |is not a formal meeting | | |happened when the face | | | |to face discussion took | | | |place. | | Improving Communication Ways in which we can improve communication between each other are: • To improve the detail and content in information sent out so that people don’t get confused and understand the information correctly • Ask people in meetings as things come up if they are all happy and understand Improve working relationships with line managers so that a trust can be built • Listen to and discuss issues and problems with the senior management team • Encourage feedback to the senior management team by all staff Chairing Meetings What are meetings? According to the online dictionary, meetings can be defined as an assembly or gathering of people, as for a business, social, or religious purpose. Advantages and Disadvantages of Meetings There are many advantages and disadvantages to meetings, which are outline below: |Advantages |Disadvantages | |You an get ideas and exchange information with lots of people at |Wasting valuable time that could be used | |once |better elsewhere | |You can make decisions |Costing a lot of money to get people together | |People can join in |A way of managers avoiding difficult | | |decisions | |You can get to know people better |Assign to already overworked people | |You can get people to work together | | |You can promote team spirit | | Reasons for Ineffective Meetings Meeting are often considered to be ineffective for the following reasons: • No agenda is produced so people don’t really know what is going • This tends to lead to meetings running over time • People are often unprepared • Nothing particularly interesting gets decided upon Meetings I Attend The meetings I attend are:
IWT – this is where I chair the meeting to look forward into the plan to iron out any issues within my team, there is a wide variety of personnel there from planners, team leaders, engineering, materials and projects, from this meeting people will get issued with actions for them to fulfill. 3-4 BUTT meeting – this is chaired by my area manager to discuss our next milestone when we combine unit 3 to unit 4 of the submarine, we discuss issues that arise and that may impact on not doing our planned work. Difficult People If there is someone that has an issue that has arisen from the meeting that isn’t specific but they want to talk about it there and then I ask them to talk to me off line because it isn’t relevant to all at the meeting. By doing this I can stick to my agenda timings so as not to overrun.
If one or two people star arguing about something I ask simply say we are wasting time and ask a new question to someone else in the meeting to change focus. Negotiation The process of negotiation has traditionally been described as hard bargaining and often is based on hidden agendas and power struggles. These days there is a partnership approach based on understanding and trust with the objective of obtaining a win-win situation where both parties are satisfied. In order to negotiate successfully, the very first thing to do is write down a plan or an agenda with clear objectives but be aware that negotiations rarely follow to plan. Other things to consider are: How you might react to the other parties’ arguments • Have an ideal outcome or position • Make sure that there is a trustworthy atmosphere – this just helps • Ensure the relevant people are there Do’s and Don’ts of Negotiation |Do’s |Don’ts | |Start with friendly introductions |Interrupt the other person | |Listen actively |Reveal your walkway position | |Be prepared to ompromise |Talk too much or too little | |Be prepared to take a break |Make it personal | |Talk solutions not problems |Ignore the other person’s point of view | |Ask open questions |Be afraid to walk away | |Change the package not the price |Accept something you will regret later | Closing Statement There a many ways to gain information make decisions on it and then communicate it out, a couple of easy ways is to – gain all information facts and figures, get as many people to decide who and what is relevant and communicate it in the most sutible form as possible so everyone can understand what decision has been made or being communicated. Bibliography Online Dictionary http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Decision_making http://www. direct. gov. uk/en/RightsAndResponsibilities/DG_10028507