ETL504 7 Steps of Decision Making

7 Steps of decision making. By Dr. Shoti Shiba

Step 1. Definition: Question – What is the problem?

Step 2. Data collection: Answers the Question – what is going on?

Step 3. Cause Analysis: Questions – Why?

Step 4. Solution Planning and Implementation: Plan a solution well –

Step 5. Evaluation of Effects: Question – did it work?

Step 6. Standardisation: How widely can you use the solution in the organisation?

Step 7. Evaluation of the Process: Learn something from what we have done – the overall effect of our solution. Question – what did we do well? What are the positives? Do we need to do anything different next time?


Primary – Relief from face to face teaching for classroom teachers is covered by the teacher librarian. This means that it is difficult to plan any collaborative teaching opportunities with the teachers. You are also concerned that the students learning in the library may not be contextually relevant to their learning in the classroom. How could you approach this problem?

  1.  A problem occurs when the teacher librarian is required to provide relief teaching for classroom teachers who meet to plan and prepare curriculum. There is no time coordination between staff.
  2.  In this case the teacher librarian is unable to collaborate with classroom teachers to organise the collection of suitable resources necessary for each grade’s Inquiry units of work and to coordinate the Information Literacy lessons with each individual grade to maximise learning in the library.
  3. The third step is why has the problem occurred? In this case it would be because administrative staff had failed to identify the need for synchronising classroom teacher’s relief time with the teacher librarian in order to facilitate planning and collaboration, and planned for this accordingly.
  4. The solution and implementation would include administrative staff planning for and  organising a staff member to relieve classroom teachers using a roster and include the teacher librarian once a week for a year level meeting to collaborate on resources and coordinate classroom and library lessons to introduce and develop specific skills and learning.
  5.  Evaluation and effects; teachers and teacher librarians would meet once a month at a staff meeting or at a designated time, to discuss if the roster was successful or if any problems or improvements to the arranged timetable were necessary.
  6.  This particular planning could be widely adopted within the school at all curriculum levels and within departments or teams, such as literacy and numeracy departments or welfare and curriculum teams.
  7.  Every month, or once per term, all staff and administrative members could meet to evaluate and discuss the positives or weaknesses of planning rosters and collaborative meetings, and identify areas that could be improved on or would benefit from rearranging.


I found using the 7 steps when tackling the primary school scenario regarding staffing arrangements really useful and thought provoking. If I can get used to thinking in these steps I feel I could make and implement more objective decisions in the future.



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