Making Complex Decisions: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Presented by: Pat Wagner

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Program Number: PM 210

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Most of us know the old trick of creating two columns on a piece of paper and listing the pros and cons of a decision. But it is not as simple as counting votes. How will the decision impact your employees? Customers? Future plans for success? The key? Setting priorities means weighing the relative importance of the variables.


  • Introduction: How Complicated Is Your Decision?
  • The Key Idea: Knowing What Is Really Important
  • The Basic Pro-Con Model
  • If You Can’t Prioritize, You Can’t Decide
  • Analyzing Variables From Different Viewpoints
  • Something Small Can Be Very Important
  • Don’t Make Assumptions: Verify All Facts


  • Establish criteria for weighing variables in decision-making.
  • Seek feedback from different stakeholders to promote buy-in.
  • Better anticipate unintended consequences.

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