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This is a question that frequently comes up in class. Usually, people ask this question when they have historically found management less than enthusiastic about solutions they propose. While there are many potential reasons for this, we like to take the high road. Let's assume that:

  • Management likes to make good decisions.
  • Good decisions about problem analysis involve:

Effectiveness: does the proposed solution make the problem go away?

Control: is the proposed solution within the manager's control to implement?

Profitability: does the proposed solution offer a good return on investment?

Getting managerial support is much easier when you show that your conclusions are based on a solid causal analysis. If all effective solutions are effective because they control one or more causes of the event, you need to show a decision maker:

  • Which 'causes' you intend to control
  • How you intend to achieve control
  • Why, if you are successful in achieving control, will it solve the problem
  • Finally, what is the return on investment

You may find that the decision maker has information to add to your analysis that you were unaware of that may change your conclusion.