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This information is intended to convey the underlying concepts for Reclamation's decision processes. It is not mandatory.
See the Reclamation Manual for official Reclamation-wide requirements.

Reclamation's Decision Process Guide

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Overall View


Go On

This website is a large reference manual to describe a spiralling series of decision process steps--and accompanying concepts.


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Overall View

(Click on any image or topic to begin)

Executive summary tour May we suggest the Executive Summary Tour.

Site map Preparing before funding Preparing before starting Toolbox Terms Keep on track Tours Step 1 -- Needs Step 2 -- Objectives Step 3 -- Resources Step 4 -- options Step 5 -- Screening Step 6 -- Alternatives Step 7 -- Evaluation Step 8 -- Selection Step 9 -- Implementation Step 10 -- Followup Backdrop Success Path builders Hurdles Hip pocket concepts

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navigate in the page--Abstract

The Decision Process Guide: How to get things done in Government is discretionary guidance under the Reclamation Manual system.

As you go through the decision process steps, take time to analyze what is happening and how participants are reacting. Use your kowledge of the process to categorize what is going on and get to the next step.

Explaining a rational decision process to participants and decisionmakers--and sticking to it--:

and prevents:

  • Premature decisions
  • Missed participants
  • Conflicts
  • Overlooked influencing factors
  • Fatal flaws
  • Resentment over the time needed for a solution

This guidebook provides a series of decision process steps, tools to use along the way, and important concepts to keep in mind. You will have to tailor your decision process and approach to your situation. These concepts provide a framework for other management tools and decisionmaking models. Select and use what you need.

This web version uses a hypertext approach so users can find what they need quickly and easily. We also provide a hard copy guide, which lays out the process in a more linear fashion. We suggest using the hard copy as a:

  • Workbook to plan your process
  • Personal reference guide
  • Marked up reference guide to share with your team and participants

To emphasize the overall context and interrelationships in the decision process, the web version differs in form and content from the hard copy. The web guide works in conjunction with the toolbox, a list of decisionmaking tools. We suggest using the web guide to:

  • Share specific concepts and steps with the team and participants
  • Explore the process and discover connections
  • Get quick answers to questions at particular steps
  • Uncover an overall view of how the decision process works

The decision process is iterative*definition: You will keep coming back to the same concepts again and again. Please revisit these spaces to see the information in a new context. Steps mesh into one another--thus material in each step links to other steps. Read ahead to understand how one action builds on the next, but don't jump ahead when you actually apply it.

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navigate in the page--Go On

Each page in this site has a "go on section." Clicking on the blue arrows will get text in a linear order (next, previous, above, below).

Clicking on a tour will take you to the next part of the tour.

You can always access the contents to find material.


You can start with decision process concepts, build a good foundation, or begin with Step 1, Needs.

toursTours: Each tour is designed for a different logical approach and role in the process. You can follow the tours by clicking on the underlined word below. The tour page provides a detailed itinerary along the way. Once at a stop, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and click for the next page or back to the tour page. Feel free to jump ship and follow other links of interest.

tocContents: A quick reference to all pages. However, we suggest taking a tour or exploring concepts on your own to get a sense of the overall relationships amoung concepts and decision process steps.

termsTerms: A way to look up and follow specific concepts

toolboxToolbox: A discussion of decision process tools.


Please contact Deena Larsen 303-445-2584 with questions or comments on this material.