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What is TDODAR Decision Model?

TDODAR is an acronym for time, diagnosis, options, decide, assign, and review. This approach is frequently used in aviation to assist pilots in making judgments in challenging situations.

The TDODAR model is popular among British pilots because it gives a step-by-step process for making critical choices. Today, we will discuss the Implementation and benefits of using this Model.

Have you ever made a critical decision when the clock is ticking against you?

Imagine a situation that most of us have experienced. The IT systems are down only hours before you have to submit a report. New items have flaws that are identified days before they are to be released to the market. Several team members want compassionate leave at the same time, exactly when you need all hands on deck. Situations like these come from time to time, and you must respond quickly and make a decision.

Some people are born with the ability to think clearly and calmly in difficult situations. Others report that stress “paralyses” them or causes them to make hasty judgments.

In the aviation business, TDODAR is a standard decision-making tool. Pilots frequently employ its six consecutive phases to assist them in solving difficulties in mid-flight. It’s an essential and straightforward tool that can be used in any decision-making, whether piloting an aeroplane or troubleshooting a server fault. It’s critical to make well-considered judgments in crisis and high-stress cases where there’s a lot of doubt about what to do.

You use TDODAR to plan a path forward through the difficulty at hand by following the stages in an organised manner, which helps you avoid fear and decision-making paralysis.

How to Implement TDODAR?

Before using the tool, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with general guidelines for receiving the best results. David Moriarty, an aviation instructor, recognised the following characteristics of a successful TDODAR:

  • Carry out each step on its own.
  • Express your opinions and facts.
  • This keeps talks focused and moving quickly.
  • Collaboration can be beneficial to the process. Asking straight questions of people without disclosing your understanding of the problem might help you obtain honest, “uncontaminated” opinions from them.
  • If you’re working with others, go to the next level once you’ve reached an agreement. If you disagree, choose the more conservative viewpoint before proceeding.
tododar decision model
What is TDODAR Decision Model? 1

Let’s analyse all the Basic Steps in TDODAR

Time

It’s critical to know how much time you’ll need right away. You must make a decision. The way you carry out the subsequent procedures will be influenced by how clear and definite you are about the amount of time available to you. It can help you prioritise if you have time to make a deliberate decision, and it can stop you from panicking if you have time to make a conscious decision. Please note the available time in a visible location so that everyone knows it.

Diagnosis

This is when you bring in your resources to figure out precisely the problem and investigate various probable reasons, from the obvious to the less obvious. Gather everyone who can assist you, any data you may want, and any industry aide-mémoire that can guide your diagnosis.

The 5 Whys methodology might be effective in this situation. It’s a straightforward yet effective method for fast getting to the bottom of reasonably challenging situations. Try Cause and Effect Analysis if the problem is more complicated and you have more time.

A thorough diagnosis is critical for avoiding confirmation bias, which occurs when you interpret available information in a way that supports your presumptions and makes ill-informed judgments. You will be confident of the issues when you fully evaluate a situation.

Keep an eye out for groupthink if you’re working in a group. This phenomenon arises when people do not express their genuine feelings regarding each other’s views to achieve group consensus. You may avoid this by searching for the signs and creating an environment where people feel free to explore possibilities and alternatives without fear of judgement or retaliation.

Options

After you’ve determined the nature of the problem and its sources, you may consider alternatives for resolving it. Begin by systematically thinking about things. It’s critical to think about as many distinct choices as possible. If you’re stuck, try brainstorming.

Decide

The choice may seem apparent, and if time is of the essence, you’ll have to make a selection based on your training. If you have more time, explore our Decision-Making Techniques section for various ways that will work in many scenarios.

It is now time to make a choice. Consider all your possibilities; select the best and most logical one, and decide whether or not to go on with it.

In high-pressure situations, it may be prudent to seek advice from others to minimise the hazards of overconfidence and haste at this point, but keep in mind who the final decision maker is. If it’s not you, it’s usually the group’s most senior member.

Act or Assign

Stage 5 entails putting your decision into action. Divide it into “action” tasks and assign them to the persons best suited for them. Consider who will head a recovery effort, who is most suited to encourage others, and who will manage press releases.

Review

The review phase of TDODAR is the most important phase. It is crucial not to fall into the trap of believing the issue has been resolved. You must check that everything is functioning according to plan and that you are achieving the desired or anticipated results. If so, your decision and the measures you’ve taken have resolved the problem. If the issue is not improving or is deteriorating, you should undertake another TDODAR cycle. As you proceed, examine every assumption and piece of information you’ve considered and any dismissed options.

This stage should not be saved till the end of the TDODAR procedure. It should be repeated at every opportunity throughout this to guarantee that you don’t do anything and keep an eye on the issue as it evolves. Circumstances might change, and you must be alert to adapt swiftly and flexibly. After successfully addressing the incident, conduct an After Action Review to learn from it.

For Example

You’re in charge of creating a new cookbook. It’s been printed, and you’ve heard some issues with it. Because the marketing effort has already begun, any delay may be disastrous. You estimate that you have 48 hours to tackle the problems.

You assemble your team to investigate the issues: a) There is a crucial mistake in Chapter 3, b) the front picture on the dust cover wraps around the spine, and c) the spine text appears on the rear cover. You identify improper spine width and inadequate posture as the root causes of difficulties b) and c). You come up with four options: reprint the book, reprint only the jacket and insert an erratum slip, reprint only the jacket, or remedy the error.

If you choose with the latter, you’ll have to hire a new designer to fix the jacket, coordinate an erratum slip with your typesetter, and have it printed by your printer. You’ve put your trust in your project manager and given them full authority. Your group will do a final check for errors once the jacket and erratum have arrived. To prevent these kinds of problems in the future, you also review your policies and procedures.

Summary

TDODAR is a rapid, basic structure for making well-informed, well-considered, and quick judgments. It’s especially beneficial in emergency and uncertain circumstances. TDODAR is organised as a circular sequence of phases, enabling you to adjust to changing conditions and unsatisfactory outcomes as you go until you achieve a satisfactory final result.

TDODAR is divided into six stages:

  1. Time
  2. Diagnose
  3. Options
  4. Decide
  5. Act or Assign
  6. Review

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