Definition Of Alternative: Alternative Solution For Decision Making Process


definition of alternative

So, the definition of alternative of decision making is very clear to us. Whenever we feel any problem while making the decision, then first think about the problem and try to find out the solution. If you know the right solution, then it is easy to solve the problem and make any decision. Thus, here are some of the alternative decision-making solutions for you. 

The Problem Of Too Few Options Being Considered In Decision Making

A woman using a laptop computer

During my career, I cannot tell you the number of times that I have been in a strategy decision meeting where there was a long set of slides to review two or three alternative solutions for what was often a multi-million dollar decision. I found myself working hard to stay engaged with the presenter as my background conversation was screaming,” Did you consider possibility A, or option B, or…? Often the decision team had initially considered many options, and they were only providing the information and rationale for the final selection from a shortened list.

So it often seemed that had the presentation started with a quick summary of all the alternatives considered, we would have had better engagement from the review team. Most people like to see that their favorite solution was at least considered. It also can avoid the meeting disaster of going through an hour review, and at the end, having an experienced member of the review team ask if they had considered a clearly viable option that becomes evident was overlooked. This wastes everyone’s time and requires the analysis to be updated and a new review meeting scheduled.

Effective Decision-Making process Is To:

A man talking on a cell phone
  1. Avoid tunnel vision with too few alternatives. There are decisions where a small number of alternative solutions are appropriate, but make sure you are not rushing to judgment. You can innovate to create new alternatives for most high-value decisions.
  2. Avoid analysis paralysis with too many options. Everything will slow down as the decision options begin to exceed our ability to keep track of them. More than nine options should start raising a flag.

How to address having too many alternative solutions

Generally, with the overwhelming amount of available information, you will find that you are contending with too many alternatives in most decisions. A recent example I encountered was when I was trying to make a selection for a digital camera. At one website I visited, I was presented with an initial selection possibility of over 5,000 cameras! Over 5,000 alternatives were available for what I expected to be about a $200 decision.

Here Are Some Ways To Reduce The Set Of Alternatives.

  • Use key criteria to quickly eliminate options that are not viable. As an example, you can use a key feature to eliminate alternatives that are missing that feature.
  • Identify a higher-level decision that can be used to eliminate large blocks of alternatives. In our digital camera example, choosing the primary use for the camera can reduce the number of options by a factor of four.
  • Reframe your decision to change scope. You may need to make a category or strategy decision to eliminate large numbers of alternatives.
  • Combine options that have minor differences. You can use decision criteria to find options that do not have differences that will be important in the selection. Combine those options to reduce analysis.
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