Part 1

Consider the two dimensions of Challenging Decisions decisions depicted below.

Decision Skills Graphic.png

Team and individual competencies can also be characterized along these two dimensions as “hard” (technical) and “soft” (social and psychological) skills. Naturally, this leads us to ask: What skills do I bring to complex decision problems? Am I a skillful leader and communicator with a deep understanding of human nature and the social, psychological, and organizational aspects of decision making? Am I a skillful analyst, mathematical modeler, and problem solver with a deep understanding of the technical aspects of value modeling and data-driven decision making?

In preparing your answers, follow the outline below exactly. This is not a free-form essay.

  1. How would you describe your own current skills and abilities in terms of the two dimensions depicted in the grid?
    • Primarily Hard Skills
    • Primarily Soft Skills
    • Both Hard and Soft Skills

Support your answers with details about your skills and why you rated yourself as you did.

  1. Given your self-assessment in Question 1, consider not where you are now, but where you would like to be eventually.
    • Are you content with the balance of skills you currently have?
    • Would you like to improve in either your hard or soft skills or both?

Provide brief background and reasons for your answers.

You will begin your study of decision making by reflecting on a few of your own decisions and completing a Questionnaire.

Answer the following questions pertaining to three of your decisions. Consider any type of decisions, business or personal, but they must be your real decisions, not a hypothetical decision or somebody else’s decision. To make this course much more engaging and enlightening, both for you and your fellow participants, you should try to identify decisions you could discuss comfortably with the class (given our mutual commitment to confidentiality). Your answers can be brief but descriptive.

PLEASE: Follow this outline exactly, and think carefully about the meaning of each section. The categories and sections play an important role in shaping your thought, and preparing your mind for decision modeling. This is not a free-form essay.

Part 2

I. A Decision from your past

  1. Title and Description: What was your decision about? Provide a brief description of your decision and give it a name, or title. Put the title at the top of your description.
  2. Alternatives: What were your alternatives – the different courses of action you could have taken? (You can include “doing nothing” as an alternative if you thought about it that way). What did you choose to do?
  3. Outcome: How did the decision turn out? Reflect on the distinction between what you action you actually took, what happened as result of your action, and how you felt about what happened.
  4. Information: What information did you rely on, and where did you get it?
  5. Process: Who else was involved in in your decision process, or affected by your decision? How did you decide what to do?

II. A Decision you are making now

  1. Title and Description: What is your decision about? Provide a brief description of your decision and give it a name, or title. Put the title at the top of your description.
  2. Alternatives: What are your alternatives – the different courses of action you could take? (Include “doing nothing” if necessary.)
  3. Outcome: How will you evaluate the outcome of the decision, i.e., how will you know a good outcome from a bad one?
  4. Information: What information will you rely on, and where will you get it?
  5. Process: Who else will be involved in in your decision process, or affected by your decision? How will you decide what to do?

III. A Decision you will be making in the near future

  1. Title and Description: What is your decision about? Provide a brief description of your decision and give it a name, or title. Put the title at the top of your description.
  2. Alternatives: What are your alternatives – the different courses of action you could take? (Include “doing nothing” if necessary.)
  3. Outcome: How will you evaluate the outcome of the decision, i.e., how will you know a good outcome from a bad one?
  4. Information: What information will you rely on, and where will you get it?
  5. Process: Who else will be involved in in your decision process, or affected by your decision? How will you decide what to do?
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