Decision Trees

It’s easy to make decisions in a vacuum. This is not to suggest that decisions should be made by committee when a crisis occurs. But you may want to have a decision team that can serve as trusted advisors. They can help you brainstorm solutions, explore options and come to consensus on what must be done.

To help the team in the planning and execution of any crisis response strategy, you may want to use decision trees in your training exercises and during an actual crisis. These trees will help you flesh out possible options along with their potential outcomes.

They work like this:

If we select ‘Risk A’, what might happen? Well, ‘Outcome 1’ may happen or ‘Outcome 2’. If you choose ‘Outcome 1’, then ‘Outcome 1.1’, ‘Outcome 1.2’ or ‘Outcome 1.3’ might happen. If you were to select ‘Outcome 1.2’, then ‘Outcome 1.2.1’ could happen or ‘1.2.2’ and so forth. Try to take this decision tree out five levels and see what the possibilities are. This can help you arrive at decisions much more quickly since you’ll have a fairly good idea how each one will play out down the road.

Chart showing decision tree