Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
ProSkills Exercise: Decision Making
Decision Making
Choosing the Most Efficient Organization for
Your Computer Files
Decision making is choosing the best option from many possible alternatives. The
alternative you select is your decision. When making a decision, you typically complete the
following steps:
1. Gather information.
2. Make predictions.
3. Select the best alternative.
4. Prepare an action plan.
5. Perform tasks and monitor results.
6. Verify the accuracy of the decision.
If you are involved in making a complex decision that affects many people, you perform
all six steps in the process. If you are making a simpler decision that does not affect
many people, you can perform only those steps that relate to your decision.
Gather Information and Select the Best Alternative
Start by gathering information to identify your alternatives. For example, when
organizing your fi les, you could store most of your work on your computer hard disk or on
removable media, such as a USB drive or an external hard drive. Ask questions that
quantify information, or use numbers to compare the alternatives. For example, how
much space do you need for your fi les? In how many locations do you need to access
the fi les? How often do you work with your fi les?
Next, ask questions that compare the qualities of the alternatives. For example, is one
alternative easier to perform or maintain than another? After testing each alternative by
asking both types of questions, one alternative should emerge as the best choice for you.
If one option does not seem like the best alternative, continue comparing alternatives by
listing the pros and cons of each.
Prepare an Action Plan
After you make a decision, prepare an action plan by identifying the steps you need
to perform to put the decision into practice. One way to do this is to work backward
from your fi nal goal. If you are determining how best to manage your computer fi les,
your fi nal goal might be a set of folders and fi les organized so that you can fi nd any fi le
quickly. Start by listing the tasks you need to perform to meet your goal. Be as specifi c as
possible to avoid confusion later. For example, instead of listing Create folders as a task,
identify each folder and subfolder by name and indicate which fi les or types of fi les each
folder should contain.
Next, estimate how long each task will take, and assign the task to someone. For simple
decisions, you assign most tasks to yourself. If you need to use outside resources, include
those in the action plan. For example, if you decide to store your fi les on USB drives,
include a step to purchase the drives you need. If someone else needs to approve any of
your tasks, be sure to include that step in the action plan. If appropriate, the action plan
can also track your budget. For example, you could track expenses for a new hard disk
or backup media.
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