Step 1: Problem definition. What is the major challenge, problem, opportunity, or decision that has to be made? If there is more than one problem, choose the most important one. Often when solving the key problem, other issues will surface and be addressed. The problem statement may be framed as a question; for example, How can brand X improve market share among millennials in Canada?

Step 2: Alternatives. Identify in detail the strategic alternatives to address the problem; you need to identify at least two alternatives. Alternatives should be mutually exclusive, realistic, creative, and feasible given the constraints of the situation. Doing nothing or delaying the decision to a later date are not considered acceptable alternatives.

Step 3: Criteria. What are the key decision criteria that will guide decision-making? In a statistics course, for example, these might include what types of variables and statistics/graphs you need to make an informed decision. Students must discuss their rationale for selecting the decision criteria and the weights and importance for each factor.

Step 4: Analysis. Provide an in-depth analysis of each alternative based on the criteria chosen in step three. The pros and cons of the two choices as well as the short- and long-term implications of each may be evaluated. Here, you need to use at least 2 charts or graphs in your analysis.  If you choose to use a graph that you did not create, then you need to make sure you cite the reference.

Step 5: Decision. Recommend one of the alternatives.  Explain why the recommendation made is the best fit for the criteria.

Step 6: Implementation plan. Sound business decisions may fail due to poor execution. To enhance the likeliness of a successful project outcome, you need to describe the key steps (activities) to implement the recommendation