What Are Examples of Non-Programmed Decision Making?

Problems that lack clear definition or structure require non-programmed decision making, and examples of strategies that fit that definition include brainstorming, nominal groups, quality circles, heuristic choices and the Delphi technique. Many organizations run into serious difficulties when they encounter their first problem that is not formulaic in nature, and failure to respond in the proper way to those new problems is one of the hallmarks of an organization in major trouble.

Brainstorming works by having a group of people sit together and contemplate a common problem. When the group leader identifies the problem, the group then throws out a list of ideas, with the rule that no idea is to be ignored. Each idea receives discussion and analysis until the group selects the best one.

The Delphi technique is basically a combination of brainstorming and a conference call. The group leader identifies a problem, and technological tools like video conferencing or group instant messaging, along with questionnaires, gather the input of each person in the group about solving the problem.

Nominal group technique allows each group member to think about the problem independently, developing a list of ideas without interaction.

Quality circles are small cadres of workers from one department who meet together on a regular basis to point out, analyze and solve challenges in the workplace.

Heuristic choices refer to decisions made on the basis of rule of thumb, common sense or experience. This trusts the experience and motivation of the organization’s most senior members.