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The Process

STEP 1 - Engage People –Identify people who will be affected by the decision, and/or those who will most directly affect the decision, and include them in the decision-making process.

STEP 2 - Define Problem[1]– Clearly define the topic (or problem) that brought the committee together. 

The committee or task force should take care to include representatives from all parties affected by the decision or recommendation, so that all relevant perspectives are considered in the problem definition phase.

STEP 3 - Explore Possible Solutions – Research best practices (if applicable) to address topic/problem and select the option best suited to addressing it. Should the “best practices” approach not be applicable, the committee should develop recommendations or solutions that best address the defined topic or problem. Care should be taken to consider the Wilkes culture in deciding upon a suitable solution or recommendation. 

STEP 4 - Test Promising Solution – Test the proposed solution with those affected by the decision to see if it adequately achieves the defined objectives. If the defined objectives are not adequately met, the committee will evaluate why it did not work and take the necessary steps to correct it and test the newly proposed solution. If the defined objectives are met, as determined through the testing of the proposed solution, the committee may move on to the next step. If the proposed solution cannot be tested, then the decision should be vetted with stakeholders.

STEP 5 - Communicate Decision – Communicate accepted solution to those affected and to the largerorganization. This communication should include a clear rationale for the decision.

STEP 6 - Implement - Implement the decision or change across the institution, as appropriate.

Decision-making/Change management is a dynamic process. “Steps to Excellence” recognizes that situations and needs will continuously change. To ensure that decisions remain a good fit, they should be revisited periodically as part of the University’s on-going assessment for improvement efforts, particularly as outcomes show either inadequate improvements or declines in performance.   

[1] Depending upon the situation, the “problem” may be seen as a challenge or an opportunity.