Decision cycle

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A decision cycle is a sequence of steps used by an entity on a repeated basis to reach and implement decisions.

  • In management, Herbert A. Simon proposed a decision cycle of three steps (Intelligence–Design–Choice).[1] Much later, other scholars expanded his framework to five steps (Intelligence–Design–Choice–Implementation–Learning).[2]
  • In design thinking, the design process is often conceived as a decision cycle, such as Robert McKim's ETC (Express–Test–Cycle).[3][4]
  • In the Getting Things Done time management method, workflow consists of a cycle of five stages (Collect–Process–Organize–Do–Review).[5]
  • In the nursing process, the ADPIE (Assessment–Diagnosis–Planning–Implementation–Evaluation) process is used.[6] Alternatively, the ASPIRE (Assessment–Systematic Nursing Diagnosis–Planning–Implementation–Recheck–Evaluation) model includes an additional stage—Recheck—in between Implementation and Evaluation.[7]
  • In psychotherapy, the transtheoretical model posits five stages of intentional change (Precontemplation–Contemplation–Preparation–Action–Maintenance). These stages were initially conceived as linear, but John C. Norcross said that for many people the stages are more appropriately viewed as a cycle (Psych–Prep–Perspire–Persist–Relapse).[8]
  • In quality control, PDCA (Plan–Do–Check–Act) is used.[9]
  • In science, the scientific method (Observation–Hypothesis–Experiment–Evaluation) can also be seen as a decision cycle.[10][4]
  • In the United States Armed Forces, a theory of an OODA loop (Observe–Orient–Decide–Act) has been advocated by Colonel John Boyd.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Simon, Herbert A. (1977) [1960]. The new science of management decision (Revised ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0136161448. OCLC 2464596. 
  2. ^ Mora, Manuel; Forgionne, Guisseppi; Cervantes, Francisco; Garrido, Leonardo; Gupta, Jatinder N. D.; Gelman, Ovsei (January 2005). "Toward a comprehensive framework for the design and evaluation of intelligent decision-making support systems (i-DMSS)". Journal of Decision Systems 14 (3): 321–344. doi:10.3166/jds.14.321-344. 
  3. ^ McKim, Robert H. (1980) [1972]. Experiences in visual thinking (2nd ed.). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole. ISBN 0818504110. OCLC 5946609. 
  4. ^ a b Dubberly, Hugh; Evenson, Shelley; Chung, Jack; Bahr, Robin; Pangaro, Paul (20 March 2009). "A model of the creative process". Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Allen, David (2001). "Getting control of your life: the five stages of mastering workflow". Getting things done: the art of stress-free productivity. New York: Viking Press. p. 24. ISBN 0670889067. OCLC 44868871. 
  6. ^ Ackley, Betty J.; Ladwig, Gail B. (2014) [1993]. Nursing diagnosis handbook: an evidence-based guide to planning care (10th ed.). Maryland Heights, Missouri: Mosby Elsevier. p. 10. ISBN 9780323085496. OCLC 779260503. 
  7. ^ Barrett, David; Wilson, Benita; Woollands, Andrea (2012) [2009]. Care planning: a guide for nurses (2nd ed.). Harlow, England: Pearson Education. p. 21. ISBN 9780273746119. OCLC 766301888. 
  8. ^ Norcross, John C.; Loberg, Kristin; Norcross, Jonathon (2012). Changeology: 5 steps to realizing your goals and resolutions. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 196. ISBN 9781451657616. 
  9. ^ Shores, A. Richard (1988). Survival of the fittest: total quality control and management evolution. Milwaukee, WI: ASQC Quality Press. p. 59. ISBN 087389040X. OCLC 18845934. 
  10. ^ Darian, Steven G. (2003). "The language of experiments". Understanding the language of science. Austin: University of Texas Press. p. 148. ISBN 0292716176. OCLC 51210597. 
  11. ^ Osinga, Frans P. B. (2007) [2005]. "Completing the loop". Science, strategy and war: the strategic theory of John Boyd. Strategy and history 18. London; New York: Routledge. p. 234. ISBN 0415371031. OCLC 67773991.