The decision making process is a logical approach to decision making. A more
natural human tendency might be to react to a problem with what seems like a
good corrective action. If the problem continues to exist, there is a tendency
to repeat the same corrective action over and over. A logical decision making
process involves evaluating the situation in a systematic way, in order to solve
problems more consistently and in a timely manner.
The First Step - Identify the Problem
Identifying the problem begins with realizing that something happened
differently than you expected. Again, situational awareness is critical. Be
aware of your position relative to your environment and the status of your
systems. Make sure you are perceiving things as they are, not as you expect them
to be. Making this mistake is very common and can delay or stop your detection
of a problem. Once an initial determination of the problem has been made,
attempt to verify that you are correct by checking anything that might act as a
Second Step - Choosing a Course of Action
After you have determined what you think the problem is, the next step is to
decide the best way to handle that problem. You are the authority when making
this decision. All of your resources are there to support you in the course of
action you decide upon.
Third Step - Implementing the Decision and Evaluating the Outcome
If the course of action is not producing the expected outcome, consider what
other problems might exist. You may have incorrectly identified the problem.
Maybe you do not have a complete picture of the situation. The explanation is
likely straight forward, but can be difficult to see, especially when under
stress. The outcome of the chosen course of action provides important insight
into the nature of the problem, or verifies that the problem has been handled
correctly. Once the problem is fixed, think of any limitations that will result
from your actions. Plan ahead on how to deal with any complications that may
come up as the flight progresses as a result of the problem that occurred.
The decide acronym is a tool to aid a pilot in remembering these logical steps
when handling a problem.
- D - Detect that a problem exists
- E - Estimate what is needed to handle this problem
- C - Choose what you need to change to get the desired result
- I - Identify which action to take
- D Do take the action you have decided upon
- E - Evaluate your decision. You should be seeing the desired result.