Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for Deciskion Making

Purpose
• To assess your ability to rank the importance of problem solutions through the application of a weighted ranking tool.
• To assess your ability to analyze a decision through the construction of a process decision program chart (PDPC).
Overview
Weighted ranking is a tool that allows you to assign importance or “numerical weights” to various problem solutions. By weighting each of the criteria, you can then prioritize, assess, and evaluate the application of important resources. This process allows decision makers to make more objective decisions. Weighted ranking can result in decisions that best use organizational resources and time.
A Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC) is a variation of the decision/event tree introduced in Week 3. A PDPC helps decision makers assess alternative solutions or courses of action for a select decision or problem. The PDPC reflects options and opportunities available in decision making and identifies what may happen in response to selecting those options. The PDPC is an excellent tool for evaluating decisions because it provides a visual basis for decision makers to make and justify decisions.
In this assignment, the PDPC used here allows you to design an implementation plan for your chosen solution. As part of doing the plan, the PDPC will allow you to consider possible risks at each step of your implementation and countermeasures for those risks.
Complete the weighted ranking assignment prior to beginning this one. By now you should have found your optimal solution through the use of the weighted ranking tool and your other analyses.
Use the PDPC diagram to lay out the major steps related to implementing your solution. What will it take to get your solution actually working? It will be very helpful to watch the following multimedia presentation a number of times to understand how to use this technique.
• Program Decision Making Charts
Action Items
Part 1: Ranking Solutions
1. Reflect on the work you have done so far on your workplace problem.
2. Consider the 3 or 4 best possible solutions from your divergent thinking process. Use the weighted ranking tool to mathematically and analytically determine which of these solutions is best. To do this, build a weighted ranking matrix for your problem using the following guidelines:
o Develop a list of criteria.
o Assign a weighted percentage to each of the decision criteria based on importance. The total of all listed criteria must equal 1.0 (i.e., the total of the assigned criteria or weights must equal 100%). For example:
 Criterion 1 = 0.3
 Criterion 2 = 0.2
 Criterion 3 = 0.4
 Criterion 4 = 0.1
Therefore, 0.3 + 0.2 + 0.4 + 0.1 = 1.0 or 100%
o Compare each solution to each criterion and assign a numerical rating scale to each alternative. For example: 1 = the solution does not meet the criterion very well, and 5 = the solution does meet the criterion very well.
o Evaluate and rate each solution against each criterion by multiplying the rating scale number by the weighted numerical criteria number. (e.g., the weighted criteria is 0.3 x 5 = 1.5. This is the criteria number 0.3 times the assigned alternative rating scale number of 5).
o Add the weighted values and calculate the final score for each of your proposed problem solutions.
o Select the alternative with the highest score.
o Refer to the following videos for additional guidance:
 Weighted Ranking
 Criteria Rating Form, Weighted Ranking
3. After completing the weighted matrix table with your ratings, calculations, and rankings, write 1-2 pages that include an explanation of these elements:
4. Description of the weighted ranking process and its benefits
5. Justification for the criteria you used and why you weighted them the way you did
6. Other observations of the process (such as the difficulty in selecting criteria, whether this mathematical technique has benefits over non-numerical reasoning, and benefits/limitations of using this technique)
Part 2: Implementation Plan
1. Review the process and techniques for developing an implementation plan for your proposed solution to the workplace problem. You will document your implementation plan in a diagram called the Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC).
2. Reflect on your individual problem for this course. Using a hierarchy template in the SmartArt feature of Microsoft Word, create a PDPC diagram illustrating the steps, action items, potential risks, and workarounds that will be encountered when implementing the solution to your problem. Keep the following points in mind in your PDPC work:
• The PDPC starts with your proposed best solution that you found in the weighted ranking exercise.
• The PDPC spells out steps or actions to take to implement the solution.
• The PDPC identifies risks and obstacles or “what if” scenarios that may occur in implementation of your solution.
• The PDPC spells out specific countermeasures or contingency plans to respond to the risks and obstacles, or the “what if” questions.
• The PDPC ends with the assessment if stated countermeasures or contingency plans are probable or not (mark with x/o).
3. After completing the PDPC diagram, write 1-2 pages that describes the PDPC process and your results. Explain the following:
 What is the PDPC diagram, what role does it play in the problem-solving process, and what steps and actions will it take to get your solution actually working?
 What risks or challenges might you face as you try to implement the solution?
 What countermeasures can you put into place?
Organization of the Paper
Use the bold words as section headings:
• Introduction: Begin with a brief introduction and recap of the problem.
• Weighted Ranking: Next, include your 1-2 page explanation of the weighted ranking process, followed by the weighted ranking matrix table.
• Implementation: Next, include your 1-2 page explanation of the PDPC diagram and implementation steps, followed by the PDPC diagram.
• Conclusion: Write a 1-paragraph conclusion to the paper.

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