Making the right decisions is key to success for business owners and organizations. Following rising business trends and innovative ways are vital for a business’s success. But decision making involves risks of failure and many other crucial factors that make the task complicated.

While it is not that simple to know the clear and definite consequences of any decision, you should think about them and perform a detailed risk assessment before making any decision.

The latest concept in the decision-making process is decision mapping. The approach is unique and useful and offers the best way to figure out the right decision.

What is Decision Mapping?

Decision Mapping can be defined as a critical-thinking approach that includes a graphical map or a tree diagram to highlight the various deliberative ways to make a certain decision.

Decision mapping is useful for complex, multi-factor situations where you have to make vital decisions. It also prevents key faculties from getting overwhelmed during the process.

There is no universal approach or one size fits all thing when using a decision map. The approach is different for every scenario. The most common way to plot the decision mapping is through a tree diagram or line & node diagrams.

You can also use pen and paper to map the decision for an individualistic problem, but mapping software is recommended for decision-making in large organizations.

The benefits of using Decision Mapping

Decision mapping is useful for individuals and businesses. Here are some benefits of decision mapping:  

Help to identify vital facts and stats

Decision mapping is an excellent way to lay down all the stats and facts that are part of a decision. The decision map also includes the benefits and drawbacks of taking alternative decisions geared to the problem.

The process includes a series of arguments that help to arrive at a singular, well justified decision. Due to this approach, you can easily identify any hint of a cognitive bias during the process and on the part of the decision-maker.

In some ways, decision mapping theory is connected to the Socratic method of “truth” identification.

Provide more opportunities

Decision mapping helps considerably in enhancing the quantitative-front on which you will make the “right” decisions. It helps you to achieve this objective by redefining the thinking-approach.

Works as an evidence

If applied properly, decision mapping is perfect to use as evidence to show that the decisions are based on sound principles of judgment. In this sense, the technique is extremely useful when any decision goes wrong or not as planned due to any reason.

Decision mapping also helps to reduce the stress that occurs during complex decision-making. Not only this, but it also makes all the practitioners more confident in conflict-resolution methods.

Helpful for MNC and Large Corporations

Decision mapping is also beneficial for groups and teams. It helps when a team is geared towards any particular problem and keeps all the players on the same page. This approach verifies that all the team members’ points are recorded in the diagram and considered during the process. This curtails the pressure of decision making, and the credit or blame gets apportioned to all team members.

Decision mapping is based on the charting processes and tree diagrams. Hence experts recommend it as a conflict-resolution approach to deal with vital issues that affect many shareholders. That is why you will see many MNC (Multinational Corporations) use this mapping technique.

How to map out decisions

To map out your decisions, use these four simple steps and draw your decision map. However, we will advise you to pay attention to the basic elements during the decision map construction process. The steps are:

  • Problem Identification & Alternative Plan
  • Detailed Analysis of all Pros and Cons of each proposal.
  • Detailed Arguments and Sub-Arguments for each proposal.
  • Decision Finalization.

Step 1: Identify the Problem and list the alternative proposal

This first and foremost step in the process is to list down (in written or graphical form) all possible solutions and proposals that will help during the process.

Step 2: Detailed analysis and Pros and Cons of the proposals

Think and list down the pros and cons that may occur during the process.

Step 3: Comprehensive Arguments and sub-arguments

Be cautious here and list down all the arguments and opinions that may occur during the process.

Step 4: Finalization of the process

Now comes the last step of the decision mapping process. For example, after identifying the problem and later going through the pros and cons analysis and undergoing argument reasoning, you can conclude an equal weight and actionable plan to make a decision.

Avoiding common mistakes while mapping out the decisions

By mapping out the decisions, you can efficiently manage decision-making challenges. However, there is some vital consideration during the process.

But when drawing a decision map, be cautious and don’t make too many extensions of a proposal as this will result in muddled thinking and makes you confused during the process. There should be a clear difference between decision mapping and deliberative-thinking.

Furthermore, ensure that all team members and participants remain on the one goal during the process. This is because the decision making process is used to prevent the confusion that affects the problem’s solution.

Similarly, ensure that you have all the vital info available to make the right decision and there are no conflicts of interest among the participants.

Some other vital point to keep in mind when mapping the decisions are:

  • Give value to the stats and documents during the process.
  • You should account for all relevant factors and disregard any irrelevant ones. Prioritize the map in your mind before drawing it.
  • Think about all the actions that you can perform and try to act upon them.
  • Don’t go beyond your power and make decisions that are within your authority.