Some notes for Software Engineering

by Herbert J. Bernstein
© Copyright 1999, 2002 Herbert J. Bernstein

Decision Making

Decision making is important both as part of the design process for information systems and as an aspect of information systems for delivery to customers. The decision-making process is intimately related to the factors which determine the quality of information systems and their products.

Achieving alignment between organizational goals and IT

Goal Setting and Decision Making

  • Proactive attitude and approach
  • Quantitative vs. qualitative approaches
    • Deciding that a decision is needed
    • Deciding what to decide
    • Deciding who gets to decide
    • Analysis, use of models
    • Synthesis
    • Evaluation of alternatives (qualitative vs. quantitative)
    • Implementation
    • Evaluation of results
  • Personal goal setting, decision making and time management
    • Setting priorities
    • Dependencies, critical paths
    • Fault tree analysis
    • Limiting risks
  • Principle centered leadership
    (See Steven R. Covey, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People"
    • Counter action to greed and self-interest as motivators
    • Principles
      • Trustworthiness
      • Trust
      • Empowerment
      • Alignment
    • Covey's Seven Habits
      • Be proactive
      • Begin with the end in mind
      • Put first things first
      • Think win-win
      • Seek first to understand, then to be understood
      • Synergize
      • Sharpen the saw
  • Standards-based management

Decision Support Systems

Decision support systems are information systems which assist people in making decisions. See Decision Support Resources (

  • Combines data, models and user interface
  • Data warehouse and data mining
  • Geographic information systems


In designing systems we need some way to evaluate the quality both of operation of the system and of the product it produces.