20 Decision-Making Models You Need To Know

STAR Method

The STAR method is an interview technique that is used to answer behavioral interview questions. The STAR method is a technique that an interviewee can use to help prepare for behavioral or situational interview questions that assess important skills. STAR is an acronym comprised of four factors that make the question answering framework: situation, task, action, and result.

Vroom-Yetton Decision Model

The Vroom-Yetton decision model is a decision-making process based on situational leadership. According to this model, there are five decision-making styles guides group-based decision-making according to the situation at hand and the level of involvement of subordinates: Autocratic Type 1 (AI), Autocratic Type 2 (AII), Consultative Type 1 (CI), Consultative Type 2 (CII), Group-based Type 2 (GII).

TDODAR Decision Model

The TDODAR decision model helps an individual make good decisions in emergencies or any scenario with a high degree of uncertainty. TDODAR is an acronym of the six sequential steps that every practitioner must follow, comprising: time, diagnosis, options, decide, act/assign, review.

Blindspot Analysis

A Blindspot Analysis is a means of unearthing incorrect or outdated assumptions that can harm decision making in an organization. The term “blindspot analysis” was first coined by American economist Michael Porter. Porter argued that in business, outdated ideas or strategies had the potential to stifle modern ideas and prevent them from succeeding. Furthermore, decisions a business thought were made with care caused projects to fail because major factors had not been duly considered.

Foursquare Protocol

The Foursquare Protocol is an ethical decision-making model. The Foursquare Protocol helps businesses respond to challenging situations by making decisions according to a code of ethics. It can also be used to help individuals make decisions in the context of their own moral principles. It consists of four steps: gather the facts, understand previous decisions, assess the degree of similarity to past events, and assess yourself.

Working Backwards

The Amazon Working Backwards Method is a product development methodology that advocates building a product based on customer needs. The Amazon Working Backwards Method gained traction after notable Amazon employee Ian McAllister shared the company’s product development approach on Quora. McAllister noted that the method seeks “to work backwards from the customer, rather than starting with an idea for a product and trying to bolt customers onto it.”


Eighteen years later, it was adapted by psychologist Bob Eberle in his book SCAMPER: Games for Imagination Development. The SCAMPER method was first described by advertising executive Alex Osborne in 1953. The SCAMPER method is a form of creative thinking or problem solving based on evaluating ideas or groups of ideas.

Decision Matrix

A decision matrix is a decision-making tool that evaluates and prioritizes a list of options. Decision matrices are useful when: A list of options must be trimmed to a single choice. A decision must be made based on several criteria. A list of criteria has been made manageable through the process of elimination.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

A cost-benefit analysis is a process a business can use to analyze decisions according to the costs associated with making that decision. For a cost analysis to be effective it’s important to articulate the project in the simplest terms possible, identify the costs, determine the benefits of project implementation, assess the alternatives.

Go/No-Go Decision

In general, terms, go/no-go decision making is a process of passing or failing a proposition. Each proposition is assessed according to criteria that determine whether a project advances to the next stage. The outcome of the go/no-go decision making is to assess whether to go or not to go with a project, or perhaps proceed with caveats.



Asymmetric Betting


Growth Matrix

In the FourWeekMBA growth matrix, you can apply growth for existing customers by tackling the same problems (gain mode). Or by tackling existing problems, for new customers (expand mode). Or by tackling new problems for existing customers (extend mode). Or perhaps by tackling whole new problems for new customers (reinvent mode).

Revenue Streams Matrix

In the FourWeekMBA Revenue Streams Matrix, revenue streams are classified according to the kind of interactions the business has with its key customers. The first dimension is the “Frequency” of interaction with the key customer. As the second dimension, there is the “Ownership” of the interaction with the key customer.

Mendelow Stakeholder Matrix

The Mendelow stakeholder matrix is a framework used to analyze stakeholder attitudes and expectations and their potential impact on business decisions.

Nudge Theory

Nudge theory argues positive reinforcement and indirect suggestion is an effective way to influence the behavior and decision making of individuals or groups. Nudge theory was an idea first popularized by behavioral economist Richard Thaler and political scientist Cass Sunstein. However, the pair based much of their theory on heuristic research conducted by psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky in the 1970s.

Decision Analysis

Stanford University Professor Ronald A. Howard first defined decision analysis as a profession in 1964. Over the ensuing decades, Howard has supervised many doctoral theses on the subject across topics including nuclear waste disposal, investment planning, hurricane seeding, and research strategy. Decision analysis (DA) is a systematic, visual, and quantitative decision-making approach where all aspects of a decision are evaluated before making an optimal choice.

Regret Minimization Framework

A regret minimization framework is a business heuristic that enables you to make a decision, by projecting yourself in the future, at an old age, and visualize whether the regrets of missing an opportunity would hunt you down, vs. having taken the opportunity and failed. In short, if taking action and failing feels much better than regretting it, in the long run, that is when you’re ready to go!

Compromise Effect

Single-attribute choices – such as choosing the apartment with the lowest rent – are relatively simple. However, most of the decisions consumers make are based on multiple attributes which complicate the decision-making process. The compromise effect states that a consumer is more likely to choose the middle option of a set of products over more extreme options.

Pareto Analysis

The Pareto Analysis is a statistical analysis used in business decision making that identifies a certain number of input factors that have the greatest impact on income. It is based on the similarly named Pareto Principle, which states that 80% of the effect of something can be attributed to just 20% of the drivers.

Decision-Making Techniques and Frameworks

  • STAR Method: An interview technique to answer behavioral questions, focusing on Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
  • Vroom-Yetton Decision Model: A decision-making process based on situational leadership and five decision-making styles.
  • TDODAR Decision Model: A sequential decision-making model for emergencies and high-uncertainty scenarios.
  • Blindspot Analysis: Identifying incorrect or outdated assumptions that can harm decision-making.
  • Foursquare Protocol: An ethical decision-making model with four steps: gather facts, understand previous decisions, assess similarity, and assess yourself.
  • Working Backwards: A product development methodology that starts with customer needs.
  • SCAMPER Method: A creative thinking technique for evaluating and generating ideas.
  • Decision Matrix: A tool to evaluate and prioritize a list of options based on criteria.
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Analyzing decisions based on costs and benefits.
  • Go/No-Go Decision: Assessing whether to proceed with a project based on criteria.
  • Speed-Reversibility: A decision-making approach considering the speed and ease of reversibility.
  • Asymmetric Betting: Making decisions with a favorable risk-reward ratio.
  • Growth Matrix: Classifying growth strategies based on existing and new customers and problems.
  • Revenue Streams Matrix: Classifying revenue streams based on interactions with key customers.
  • Mendelow Stakeholder Matrix: Analyzing stakeholder attitudes and impact on business decisions.
  • Nudge Theory: Using positive reinforcement and indirect suggestion to influence behavior.
  • Decision Analysis: A systematic and quantitative approach to decision-making.
  • Regret Minimization Framework: Making decisions by visualizing future regrets.
  • Compromise Effect: Choosing the middle option of a set of products over extreme options.
  • Pareto Analysis: Identifying the key input factors that have the greatest impact on outcomes.

Main Free Guides:

About The Author

Scroll to Top