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8 ways to improve how you make business decisions

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Business decisions are normally made by individual senior executives. Reports and information are generally escalated to them and from there the decision for the business is left up to them. Data goes in and decisions are sent out. 

Decisions made by the executive level steers the entire company’s direction. The decisions made must be quality decisions that will benefit and improve the business. 

But how do you do that?

Here are 8 ways that you can improve your decision-making skills to improve your business.

1. Identify and prioritize
Make a list of the decisions that need to be made and then prioritize them according to importance. Some decisions may be based on strategy or they can be based on rare situations, while other decisions may be normal, and frequent decisions based on usual tasks. 
If you do not prioritize according to importance, then all the decisions that need to be made will be treated equally, which would mean that the important decisions won’t be given the time to be analyzed with enough care. 

2. Factor in components
When you have created your priority list of decisions, you should factor in components that go into each of them. The analysis of each factor will help your business understand which decision needs to be improved upon and what process will make it more efficient and effective. This will also set an established common language in discussing decision-making for your business.

3. Find out what’s involved
You can do this when you have narrowed down your list of decisions and you have analyzed and examined what is involved in making each decision. 
When that is completed then you can start to create or design the roles, systems, processes, and cultural behaviors that your company should be using to improve your business. You need to make sure that you have an inclusive and broad approach that would take into account, all the methods of improvement, and address all the concerns of the decision process which would include the actual execution of the decision. 

4. Consult Data
Collect the data that you require but only the ideal data specific for you and your needs. Focus on the information that can help you answer the most vital questions. Find out what data you have access to and figure out if the costs and the efforts to sift through those data are justified. You should treat information like any other component to business investment. 
By having a solid structure on how data is mined and processed it is then easier to make decisions that are factual and beneficial to your company.
Once you have this, you can then focus on the departments involved for you to achieve those goals. Identify the departments that are most important to executing the company’s overall strategy. 

5. Engage others
Companies need to give their managers support and the tools they need to make decisions for their departments or teams on an ongoing basis. Managers need to be trained to determine whether a particular situation should be decided upon by a majority vote, or be made unilaterally by one manager, or even through a census by the concerned group. This will determine who will be making the decision and who will be held responsible or accountable for the output of results, as well as who needs to be informed or consulted for these decisions. 

6. Simplify
Simplify your analysis and decision support. The traditional way of making decisions was complicated because it needed to go through several levels of management for them to conduct an administrative analysis and then apply their judgment. When you simplify the process of decision-making structure, it simplifies the entire process, creating a consistent foundation that bases decisions on facts from the right groups or departments. 

7. Analyze and evaluate
Collect the data from decisions that were made for your business, whether the results be good or bad, the data is vital for you to learn what mistake was made, and create a plan for you to avoid it. If the result of the decision was good then analyze how you can improve upon it for the benefit of your company.

8. Reference the business culture
You should know your company’s culture because it directly affects how far and how big your company can grow. The management of your employees’ performance depends on your company’s culture. For your business to grow and be successful you need to understand the ability of your business’s culture. The ability for it to change and embrace the change. The implementation of the decisions made is deeply rooted in the analytics that is supported within your organization, and the necessary steps that are directly linked to its culture can shift the performance management strategy.

To sum it up;

There are many more ways that your decisions can greatly affect where your business is going, but in summary- if you want to improve your decision-making skills for your own company then consider; Identifying your priorities, factor in your business components, include the necessary involved roles or systems, distribute the tools your managers need, simplify your process, know your business culture, collect and process your data efficiently and lastly, analyze and evaluate your previous business decisions.

Shivendra helps construction companies and contractors win more projects and grow profitably. Regarded as a master of practical implementation, Shivendra has guided organizations such as Downer and Siemens as well as smaller contractors to achieve double-digit improvements to their bottom line.

Underpinning his extensive industry experience are qualifications in engineering and a Ph.D. focused on rapid cost improvement techniques. He is the author of two books, The Competitive Contractor and From Paper to Profit, host of the Competitive Contractor podcast, and the founder of Shivendra & Co and The Constructors Network. 

You can find more about Shivendra & Co on