4 Pages

Decision Making: Dealing with Uncertainty

WithWilliam J. Mead

In decision-making and problem-solving processes, it is obviously preferable to have complete, consistent, and accurate information. However, unfortunately, all too often, the information available to us is necessarily less than perfect. There may be missing or unknown elements that are of significant importance. The “facts” we have may or may not be fully correct, or may be ambiguous. Measurements and data may be less than precise. Some decisions involve complex systems, where what happens in one part impacts other parts, which can introduce complications. All of this points to the unavoidable reality that uncertainty, the lack of being sure we know all we need to know to make a good decision, is often a confounding issue.