What Is a Programmed Decision and Can You Give an Example?

A programmed decision is a decision that a manager has made many times before. It is a routine and repetitive process, wherein a manager follows certain rules and guidelines. An example of a programmed decision is reordering office supplies.

Programmed decisions are easily handled by established business rules and procedures. They are straightforward and handled according to formal patterns. The problems solved by these decisions have occurred multiple times before.

Programmed decisions are made based on easily identifiable factors, and they usually do not require much discussion, so they are typically automated to save time and ensure consistency. They are performed based on a set of decision-making guidelines and company policies. As these decisions have been encountered in the past, they are well-structured, and they have successful outcomes.

When making a business-related programmed decision, a manager takes only a short time to reach a conclusion because the situation is not new. Thus, programmed decisions help managers make consistently efficient choices. Managers make programmed decisions on a regular basis. For example, when handling customer-service complaints, the decisions provide solutions that have been proven to be helpful before. They also used for routine disciplinary actions to deal with common misconduct in the workplace. When handling technical issues, they follow a standard, proven routine.