Chapter 5Understanding Decision Management

Matthew Cilli

U.S. Army, Armament Research Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Systems Analysis Division, Picatinny, NJ, USA

Gregory S. Parnell

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA


Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.

(H. L. Hunt)

5.1 Introduction1

Successful Systems Engineering requires good decision-making. Many systems engineering decisions are difficult decisions in that they include multiple competing objectives, numerous stakeholders, substantial uncertainty, significant consequences, and high accountability. In these cases, good decision-making requires a formal decision management process. The purpose of the decision management process, as defined by ISO/IEC 15288:2015, is “…to provide a structured, analytical framework for identifying, characterizing and evaluating a set of alternatives for a decision at any point in the life-cycle and select the most beneficial course of action.” This chapter aligns with the structure and principles of the Decision Management Process Section of the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook v4.0 (INCOSE SE Handbook Working Group, 2015) and presents the decision management process steps as described therein (written permission from INCOSE Handbook Working Group pending), and it expands on the SEBok section on Decision Management ( ...

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