Decision Making Definition - Project Management
Project management and decision-making definitions go hand in hand. When managing a project, a project manager is faced with the challenging task of deciding to proceed, which may be crucial for a project. In such cases, it is necessary for the decision-maker to evaluate all the available options, their impact on the project and then narrow them down to a decision.
When faced with multiple choices, one can use a Project Decision Document, which mainly is a tool that can help the manager/stakeholders to assess the pros and cons of each recommendation and then finalize a decision.
This document helps capture the current status of the project/program while providing a background of what decision is required, all the recommendations available for consideration, make a note of the decision reached, why the selection was made and who was responsible for the decision. All these details are documented in the Project Decision Document and can be used for future reference.
Project Decision Document Uses
- A decision document is especially useful when stakeholders who do not have much involvement in the project at the ground level must make a decision.
- While this document helps to keep the stakeholders informed of the current status of the project, highlights what decision is required and the choices to consider, it also explains the benefits and risks associated with each recommendation, documents why, when, and by whom a decision was made, thereby ensuring accountability for the decisions made.
- A Project Decision Document may be useful in many cases, especially where it may be difficult for a decision-maker to zero in on a decision. In this case, providing relevant options on a Decision Document will help the decision-maker to understand the situation better and make the right decision after having assessed each recommendation available carefully. For, E.g., If a project to migrate the website to the cloud is ongoing, and a decision is to be finalized on the cloud service provider, a decision document can be used which explains the benefits for each vendor.
- Project decision documents can also be used to communicate with the stakeholders/clients that a decision has been reached. Thus, this document is useful as it lists down the various options that the decision-maker can consider.
- The Project decision document is also beneficial in cases where decisions about a business or project have to be implemented, but the decision-maker does not have much involvement in the project's technicalities and can make a decision based on the recommendations provided. The risks and the benefits associated with each option are noted and well explained, helping easier decision-making.
Project Decision Document Template
A project decision document template can be either maintained as an excel or word document, but it generally has the following necessary fields:
- Project Name
A Project Manager or a stakeholder.
Date when the request for the decision to be made as requested. This is an auto-populated field in the excel template but needs to be updated in the word template.
This section highlights the urgency of the decision to be made. The values of this field can be Low, Moderate, and High. If any decision needs to be taken with high priority, it should be highlighted as High, while something that can wait can be marked as low.
This denotes the current RAG status of the project. This also serves as an important factor to be considered when a decision is to be taken.
This section clearly describes the background of the request and specifies what decision is requested. This helps to provide a brief summary to the decision-makers on what they are expected/required to decide.
This section provides a list of the recommendations that the decision-maker can review and finalize on one decision.
Effect o the recommended decision:
This field evaluates the risks and benefits of the recommended decision on the project.
This section clearly specifies the decision that is made based on the recommendations provided.
This section is a formal sign-off from the decision-maker and comprises the decider’s name, title, date of acceptance, and signature.
Thus, a Project Decision Document serves as an important document evaluating the pros and cons of a decision before it is implemented. It also serves as evidence of the decision taken for future reference. Also, it helps to clearly communicate to all individuals/stakeholders involved in a project what decision has been reached.