DQ 101: Introduction to Decision Quality

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Course Date: 09 October 2014 to 15 November 2014 (5 weeks)

Price: free

Course Summary

This five-week online course covered the concepts of Decision Quality, introduced common decision traps, and fostered the basic awareness of skills and tools for reaching Decision Quality in business settings.


Estimated Workload: Expect to spend between 2-4 hours per week on the course over the five-week period. Course Design: This course is designed as a combination of short lectures and engaging team-based activities. While participants may work on their own, for a richer educational experience we recommend joining a team. Course materials, communications, and assignments will be in English.   Course Content: Week 1: The Power of Decisions in Shaping our Lives and Business FortunesWeek 2: Appropriate Frame; Creative and Doable Alternatives; Clear Values and Trade-offs Week 3: Relevant and Reliable Information Week 4: Sound ReasoningWeek 5: Gaining Commitment to Action; Bringing it All Together    

Course Instructors

Carl Spetzler, Ph.D.

Dr. Carl Spetzler is CEO of Strategic Decisions Group and Program Director of the Stanford Strategic Decision and Risk Management certificate program. An active decision professional for more than 40 years, he advises Fortune 500 corporate leaders, boards of directors, and organizations as they adopt Decision Quality principles. He is a member of INFORMS, a Fellow and past president of the Society of Decision Professionals, and is a founder and chairman of the Decision Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving decision-making skills of youth. Dr. Spetzler has been awarded The Ramsey Medal, the highest award of the Decision Analysis Society of INFORMS for lifetime contributions to the field. He was named by Treasury & Risk magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in finance for his work in Enterprise Risk Management, and he was elected to the SRI Hall of Fame for his leadership in the growth of decision analysis at SRI and for his key role in instigating a fundamental change in the US financial services industry.

Course Description

The Course Uncertainty and endless debate can inhibit our ability to make good decisions. Many of us squander our best opportunities to create value through better decisions. What if we could judge the quality of our decisions at the time we make them, rather than waiting for their outcome? What if we could turn uncertainty to our advantage? Decision Quality (DQ) is a practical and systematic approach that methodically breaks down barriers and improves the quality and timeliness of important decisions. Decision Quality has proven to be an invaluable business tool for some of the largest corporations in the world. Companies that have adopted DQ for all their major decisions, like Chevron, are significantly outperforming their peer group of companies. Now you can learn to make smarter decisions. In this five-week introductory course, you’ll work in teams to learn the DQ approach, which draws from the disciplines of business, engineering, psychology, organizational behavior, and decision science. Whether you’re an executive, a manager, an analyst, or a small-business owner, you’ll learn to improve your decision-making process, generate better alternatives, focus on relevant information without getting bogged down, apply sound reasoning, and take timely action more effectively and efficiently. By the end of this course, you will be able to: Understand the six requirements of Decision Quality Recognize the quality of a decision before you make it (not just in hindsight) Identify gaps in Decision Quality and focus your attention where it matters Reach DQ in significant decisions in a timely and efficient way Gain awareness of strategic Decision Quality, decision "power tools," and the role of decision professionals. In a recent offering of this course, 88% of participants said it was relevant to their job, and 90% said they would recommend it to a colleague! This course will focus on DQ as it is used in business, but the principles of DQ apply to personal decisions as well. Check out summer 2014 highlights »

Course Workload

Expect to spend between 2-4 hours per week on the course over the five-week period. Course Design: This course is designed as a combination of short lectures and engaging team-based activities. While participants may work on their own, for a richer educational experience we recommend joining a team. Course materials, communications, and assignments will be in English.   Course Content: Week 1: The Power of Decisions in Shaping our Lives and Business FortunesWeek 2: Appropriate Frame; Creative and Doable Alternatives; Clear Values and Trade-offs Week 3: Relevant and Reliable Information Week 4: Sound ReasoningWeek 5: Gaining Commitment to Action; Bringing it All Together    

Course Prerequisites

You will need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures and upload a variety of assignments including videos, slides, and text.  

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