You can brainstorm objectives by gathering a broad cross-section of people with in interest in the outcome of the decision and asking what concerns they’d like to see addressed. Specific questions that may be useful include:

  • What are we trying to achieve by making this decision (or revising this policy, or making this plan, or tackling this issue)? What are the specific issues or concerns you’d like to see addressed?
  • If the list is very long, ask people to think about the big categories of impacts that should be considered, and add sub-bullets under them.
  • Think about key stakeholders. What would they be concerned about? Imagine you are explaining a proposed alternative to others (manager, colleague, decision maker, etc.), what questions would they ask?
  • Ask yourself what you think would be a great alternative (even if you consider it infeasible). What makes it great?
  • What would be a terrible alternative or outcome? Why?
  • What are the hidden agendas or political “realities” that could thwart things despite a great analysis? These could be important but as-yet unstated objectives.

As a first cut, write down everything that is said.

Key Ideas

Brainstorm the objectives of a wide range of people with an interest in the decision