INTRO: Many authors and theorists have different approaches to group decision making. Some differ from a couple of steps to five steps. The book however likes to use a seven step approach. A good example of our subject is this assignment itself. As a group we come together and form a solid opinion on which topic or assignment we should take. The book suggests that we follow a couple of guidelines when coming across a topic. As a group, we should be wording the question or subject as something to where we can seek out an answer. We should also be open to any opinions and finally answer questions in a logical manner. The 7 Key Points are simple yet can be broken down into several components The first is Define the Problem. By defining the key terms and the logic of question, group members will be more understanding of what the topic or question is really asking. For example, if the topic is “What can be done to alleviate the parking problem on campus?” members must agree on what constitutes the parking issue.
Is there too much space? Too little? However your group defines it, will determine how your group solves it. The second step is Analyzing the Problem. Basically what it boils down to, is what are the symptoms and what causes the problem. Could there be late students? Students who don’t pay for their parking passes but never get caught? Accidents? Many symptoms are more serious than others and they all point to the same magnitude of the problem. However, at this point the group cannot jump to any conclusions and they cannot propose any solutions. Now your group must consider what causes the problem. Could it school funds? Too many scheduled classes? Increased enrollment? Your group must come up with the most meaningful answer towards the solution.
The third step is to Determine the Criteria for the Optimal Solution. Coming up with solutions is easy, but as a group, you have to make sure that your solution is good enough to satisfy all criteria’s. Sticking to the same example, the solution you come up with has to satisfy the economic criteria, as well as the security criteria. In other words, make sure that the solution is cost effective and that students are still able to come and go as they please safely. After successfully completing all three first steps, now it’s time to Propose Solutions. Keeping everything in mind from the first three steps, what this fourth step basically becomes is a list of ideas, in other words, brainstorming. A brainstorming list should include something as simple such as building more parking spaces on the edges of campuses or reclaiming unused space on campus for students. At this point, your group should be ready to Evaluate Proposed Solutions. Numbering down solutions to a smaller number should give the group an idea of what their solution might be.
Something to be considered should be the weaknesses in each solution. This would help in the process of eliminating each solution, leaving only the strong ones. The sixth step is Selecting a Solution. The self-explained step is something everyone will go through regardless of their analysis on decision making. However, going through the seven step approach, Selecting a Solution should give the group a much clear idea on which solution ties best with their evidence. The solution your group selects should be a combination of the several proposed remedies. The final step in the process is Suggesting Strategies for Implementing the Solution.
In other words, it’s to find ways to advertise your solution. Something as simple as suggesting a strategy could be put into the seven step approach itself, but the from gaining experience from working on finding a solution it should be more simple to come up with ways to get the word out. Something as simple as making fliers or creating a timetable in order to lay out a long term plan. CONCLUSION: In summary, the seven step approach could be self-explanatory just by reading the list. It shouldn’t be too difficult to make a decision within a group. The process should be something to help everyone involved and can benefit several types of groups and situations.