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Decision Analysis – Prelude (Part 1)

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Decision Analysis definition by Wikipedia:

Decision analysis is the discipline comprising the philosophy, theory, methodology, and professional practice necessary to address important decisions in a formal manner.

Decision analysis includes many procedures, methods, and tools for identifying, clearly representing, and formally assessing important aspects of a decision, for prescribing a recommended course of action by applying the maximum expected utility action axiom to a well-formed representation of the decision, and for translating the formal representation of a decision and its corresponding recommendation into insight for the decision maker and other stakeholders.

Just looking by the definition, it looks complicated.

Looking back - years back, we (me and my Infrastructure and Security colleagues) have this kind of complication when faced with selecting solutions (aka product) for Endpoint Protection.

All the proof-of-concept has been done, and result are all laid out. Two solutions are evenly favourable; marked as Leader on both Gartner Magic Quadrant and Forrester Wave, all member of the team has its own argument, and we're coming into heated discussion about picking set of criteria to rank and selecting which is the best.

Then in the middle of that discussion, our Mentor enters the meeting room silently and starts reading on our whiteboard. He just returned back from some upper management level training, and decides to use couple of training and workshop materials from there: Decision Analysis. He was kind enough to share the methodology with us back then. This writing is kind of sums up on what he taught us at that time.

Decision Analysis or Decision Making Process Summary

There are 5 main steps that can help us selecting best solution, there are:

1.       State Purpose

2.       Set Criteria

a.       Categorize Criteria

b.      Assign Importance

c.       Review Criteria

3.       Identify and Assess Choices

a.       Identify Choices

b.      Compare vs Must-Have Criteria

c.       Compare vs Nice-to-Have Criteria

4.       Evaluate Risk

a.       Recognize Risk

b.      Evaluate Risk

5.       Make Decision

Those steps will be detailed next in Chapter (Part-2).

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