What If…. Modern Decision-Making Models

June 8, 2023 Louanne Dukes No comments exist

With the recent hype around Artificial Intelligence, we revisit the factors that we, as humans use, when making decisions. Having been involved with Decision Support for several decades, we have assembled best practices for decision making. 

  1. Information and Knowledge: Relevant, timely, integrated and accurate information is important for good decision making. Access to data is only one step; the ability to put together that data in meaningful, consumable methods is just as important but not as easy. The better the information, the greater the confidence in the decision.
  2. Clear Objectives: It is important to clearly understand what objective is to be achieved and what outcomes are desired. The lens by which the decision is made is critically important for decision making.
  3. Alternatives: Identify and consider different options or alternatives. Generate a range of possibilities and evaluate their pros and cons.
  4. Evaluation Criteria: Establish criteria or standards against which you can assess and compare the alternatives. Determine what factors are important to you and consider how each option aligns with those criteria. This helps you prioritize and evaluate the alternatives more effectively
  5. Impact Analysis: Evaluate the potential consequences or outcomes of each alternative. Consider both the short-term and long-term impacts.
  6. Risk Assessment: Assess the risks associated with each alternative. Identify and analyze potential risks, uncertainties, or challenges that may arise from your decision. Consider the likelihood of these risks occurring and the potential impact they may have.
  7. Collaboration: Seek input and perspectives from others who have expertise or experience in the subject matter. Collaboration with others can provide different viewpoints, uncover blind spots, and provide a more well-rounded decision.

CAFDEx® What-If tools enable exercises to be able to be rapidly generated, integrate expert review and adjustments and provide traceability on decision making.

Bottom line, decision making is an assessment of alternatives. Confidence in decision-making is not only data based but also requires more inputs and a deeper exploration of alternatives. As technology providers for the large entities, ITI has assembled tools to facilitate this exploration

This includes:

  • Data relationships and integration to include ‘as is’ vs ‘what if’ analysis
  • Rigorous Risk Assessment tools
  • Robust collaboration across affiliated stakeholders
  • The ability to ‘quick turn’ analysis to not only intake feedback but provide traceability of the decisions.

AI will be increasingly valuable into the future. Whether the human factor can or should be completely replaced is a separate conversation. In the meantime, continued decision-making process awareness and technology augmentation will only help as decision making continues to improve long into the future.

CASE STUDY: CAFDEx® FRM ‘What If’ Tools Used for Air Force Decision Making

  • Problem: Exercises to evaluate force structure changes are routinely evaluated. This involves frequent ‘data calls’ to collect enterprise information in order to evaluate alternatives.
    A recent example:
    “The U.S. Air Force may decide this summer on a buy of up to 75 tankers to fill the gap between the planned fielding of the 179th Boeing [BA] KC-46A Pegasus in 2029 and the fielding of the Next-Generation Air Refueling System (NGAS) in the mid-to-late 2030s.”
    Read more: USAF Decision May Come This Summer on Gapfiller Tanker Between KC-46 and NGAS – Defense Daily
  • Solution: CAFDEx® FRM What If Tools not only provided detailed impact analysis but the tools also provided the ability to easily organize and provide transparency of the exercises.
  • Background: Infinite Technologies, Inc., a provider of Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) products, has deployed a series of products to support all aspects of the PPBE process. This includes:
    • Total force aggregation of data across the Fiscal Year Defense Program (FYDP).
    • Ability to confidently identify, communicate and track decision.
    • Ability to generate evaluate alternatives with traceability of decisions.
    • Ability to perform detailed impact analysis across the FYDP.
    • Use of Risk Analysis and Assessment as a method to evaluate alternatives.
    • Collaboration across all stakeholders with documented decision criteria and results.

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