The first step in the eight-step decision-making process is to define the problem. Identify the target root causes, and establish a simple problem statement. A strong problem statement expresses the issue clearly in one sentence and describes the desired conditions. Next, determine requirements, and spell out what the solution must do. Third, establish goals that go beyond the requirements, and address wants and desires. Make these goals broad, and state them positively.
To complete step four, identify alternatives that change the current situation into the desired situation. For step five, define the criteria methods used to make the decision. The criteria are relevant to all goals, operational, non-redundant, few in number and discriminate among the alternatives. Each criterion should measure something of value and not depend on another criterion. Next, select a decision making tool, keeping in mind the complexity of the decision problem.
Step seven of the decision making process evaluates each alternative against the criteria. These assessments may be factual in respect to a predefined scale of measurement or subjective based on the evaluator. The eighth and final step validates the solutions against the problem statement. This final step ensures the decision-making tool was not misapplied. This final step may also bring attention to additional goals or requirements that must be met.