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Decision Analysis for Managers by David Charlesworth

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Where Did the Objectives Hierarchy Come from?

In 1992, Ralph Keeney published the definitive reference on this subject, Value Focused Thinking,4 in which he described in detail the objectives hierarchy, how to develop it, and why to use it. Over time, the DA community adopted Keeney’s objectives hierarchy as part of the framing process. In fact, Gary Bush and David Skinner (founders, Decision Strategies) note that some decision problems can be solved completely by removing ambiguity using the objectives hierarchy and the other framing tools.5 Skinner makes a very important point, “the key is to only use the tools and processes needed to gain clarity of action.” Once this is achieved, you’re done with the analysis and should start planning. Once ...

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