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Process-driven Decision Making

As Penn State relies more heavily on information technology to support its mission of teaching, research and outreach during this time of dwindling resources and fast-paced technological advances, IT Leaders are facing increased pressure to make the efficient and effective “right” decisions regarding the use of technology. A proven, documented process around decision making will support better decisions and the overwhelming call for transparency and accountability. Decision-making is less about the outcome and more about the process:

  • Are the right people involved in the decision?
  • What are the criteria we’re using to make this decision?
  • Have we examined the environment?
  • What are our regulatory requirements?

And finally,

  • How much does it cost?

Making decisions without a process-driven approach makes it next to impossible to educate others about our decisions. Moving forward, it’s imperative that we approach the use of IT resources to make the best possible, well-defined, documented and informed decision. This involves a set of steps that allows us to create consensus around the decisions we make.

The Process: Weighted Ranking

This process for evaluating multiple alternatives, with a weighted-relative rank, is most commonly used when evaluating a large number of alternatives or when evaluating alternatives for a critical decision. To learn more, see Consensus Building Process: Weighted Ranking by Bill Olsen.

  • Identify purpose/goal
  • Clarify alternatives
  • Determine criteria
  • Weight criteria
  • Apply criteria to alternatives
  • Calculate results
  • Evaluate results

The Tool: Decision Lens

Decision Lens is a comprehensive software solution which will enable Information Technology (IT) at Penn State to manage the strategic alignment of goals and priorities with investments in IT Services and Projects. Decision Lens is a hosted service which enables collaborative, efficient and asyncronous input gathering and analysis to support the decision-making process for large, complex and multi-dimensional areas of responsibility, such as IT at Penn State.

How Do I Start?

  • Familiarize yourself with Decision Lens: review Decision Lens Overview PDF and Decision Lens Overview video.
  • Contact the Penn State Decision Lens Support Team to request an initial Decision Lens intake session.
  • Complete and submit the IT Decision Template.
  • The Penn State Decision Lens Support Team will contact you to schedule your decision steps:
    • Criteria Selection and Weighting
    • Alternative Voting Results
    • Evaluation and Resource Planning
  • Complete on-line evaluation after your Decision Lens experience.

How Do I Get Help?

Contact Krystal McMillen via our contact form or by phone at (814) 863-0427.