What is TDODAR Decision Model? Is it the Best Decision Model?

TDODAR Decision Model

TDODAR is an acronym that stands for time, diagnosis, options, decide, assign, and review. This approach is frequently used in aviation to assist pilots in making judgments under 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 had to make a critical decision when the clock ticks away against you?

Imagine a situation that most of us have experienced. 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 members of your team 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 circumstance, whether you’re piloting an aeroplane or troubleshooting a server fault. It’s especially important for making well-considered judgments in crises and high-stress circumstances 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 you use the tool, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with some general guidelines for receiving the greatest 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 simply.
  • This keeps talks focused and moving quickly.
  • Collaboration can be beneficial to the process. Asking straight inquiries 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

Let’s analyze all the Basic Steps in TDODAR


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 deliberate decision.

Please note the available time in a visible location so that everyone is aware of it.


This is when you bring in your resources to figure out precisely what the problem is and investigate a variety of 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 make ill-informed judgments as a result. When you fully evaluate a situation, you will be confident of the issues.

Keep an eye out for Groupthink if you’re working in a group. This phenomenon arises when people choose not to 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 in which people feel free to explore possibilities and alternatives without fear of judgement or retaliation.


After you’ve determined the nature of the problem and its sources, you may consider your 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.

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 a variety of ways that will work in many scenarios.


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 of 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 most senior member of the group.

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.


The most crucial step of TDODAR is the review step. It’s critical not to fall into the trap of believing you’ve solved the problem. You must ensure that everything is proceeding as planned and that you are getting the outcomes you require or expect. If that’s the case, your choice and the measures you’ve taken are fixing the issue.

If the situation isn’t getting better, or if it’s becoming worse, you should conduct another TDODAR cycle. As you go, question every assumption you made and every piece of information you considered, and evaluate any choices you eliminated.

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 in order to adapt swiftly and flexibly.

After you’ve successfully addressed 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 there are 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 the second option, you’ll entrust the task of repairing the jacket to a new designer, organising an erratum slip to your typesetter, and printing both to your printer. You’ve delegated overall responsibility to your project manager.

When the jacket and erratum come, your team double-checks them for any remaining flaws. You also go through your procedures to ensure that these issues don’t happen again.


TDODAR is a rapid, basic structure for making well-informed, well-considered, and speedy 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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