Project management: the start of the project journey
Project management: the start of the project journey

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Project management: the start of the project journey

3 Making decisions

Given a set of proposals for which the feasibility has been assessed, management must now decide which proposals to pursue. What decision makers are looking for is the best option available.

Decisions are too often made on the basis of personal inclination and interest, for ‘political’ reasons – enhancing the power or prestige of an individual or a group within the organisational hierarchy – or for better reasons but in the absence of full information about the possible risks and outcomes of the decision. We have laid more stress on investigating how and why decisions are made and whether structured and scientifically based methods of decision making are possible, since making a bad decision will be costly. We now describe some factors to be considered and some methods that aid decision making.

Learning outcomes

At the end of Section 3, you should be able to:

  • describe an appropriate model for deciding which proposal to pursue
  • explain why it is necessary to calculate profitability in the same way for proposals which are being compared in order to choose from them
  • calculate expected monetary value (EMV) for possible outcomes in a decision tree
  • explain how proposal-ranking formulas work
  • use a checklist or measured checklist
  • state the main limitation of these techniques
  • list some of the questions a decision maker needs to ask before making a decision.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371