Decision-Making Tools In Project Management


Uncertainty is something inherent in any project since each of the elements that come together (both those specific and those related to the organization where it is carried out) and each of the people who intervene in it (either directly or directly). with the ability to influence their development), as well as their interactions, are potential sources of problems.

Therefore, it is necessary to have tools and techniques to help solve these problems. Two of those tools are the cause and effect diagram, and the 5 whys technique.

What Is A Problem In Project Management?

One of the meanings of the term “problem” is a “set of facts or circumstances that make it difficult to achieve some goal”. In the framework of project management, we have to interpret this definition by adding that it is a situation in which we want to achieve an objective and we know (or we think we know) that there are one or more ways to achieve it, although we doubt between several options.

Therefore, when we face a problem in the management of a project, we will have to analyze it based on the objectives of this and the objective starting data, to identify the space in which we can solve it and search for a solution or solutions.

How Does Decision-Making Work In Problem-Solving?

When we identify a problem, if we know how to solve it, we will limit ourselves to applying the procedure or routine that we know. If not, we will have to determine how to act. In this sense, almost certainly, there will be different options and we will have to choose the most beneficial.

The usual decision-making process is as follows:  


The first thing we must do when faced with a problem is to identify it as best as possible, depending on the objectives of our project.

If you come to the conclusion that the problem completely prevents you from achieving the objectives of your project, you should consider that the situation is impossible and it will not be worth your time to deal with it.

If you consider that the situation can be redirected, remember the expression “a well-posed problem is a half-solved problem”.


The next step is to define the specific problem. To describe it correctly, you have to collect quality, verified, and updated information, taking into account the starting point and what you want to achieve when you solve it.


The third step is to determine the origin of the problem and identify possible alternatives to solve it. Something very important to find these possible alternatives is that you focus on the solution and not on the problem.

Sort out

When you know the main or root cause of a problem, that is, the cause that originates it, you can give it a solution. It is the moment to open your mind and not reject any of the options that may occur to you; If you work in a team, encourage creative thinking in the group, as this will allow you to develop more options.

For each of the options that arise, think about the positive and negative consequences they may have, the time and resources you will need to put them into practice, etc. You must do it objectively and realistically.


Finally, after weighing the different options, you will have to implement the solution that you consider most appropriate. Depending on its magnitude, you will have to think in terms of an action plan, dates, processes, monitoring system, etc.

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