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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


go through page Who They Are / What They Decide / Go On

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navigate in the page--Who They Are

Decisionmakers are those responsible for the decision.

Be sure to include decisionmakers--communicate early and often!

Decisionmakers are those participants who decide on a course of action. In a sense, every participant is also a decisionmaker. The types of decisions made by different participants are illustrated in the next section on this page.

Who the final decisionmaker is depends on the question and the participants. Within Reclamation, this may be the Area Office Managers, Regional Directors, the Commissioner, the Secretary of the Interior, Congress, or even a judge or the President. External decisionmakers may be a lead agency, state legislatures, governors, people who own the resources, etc.

Who decides on a course of action may be based on:

Who is officially responsible?
Who has been chosen by the participants to make the decision?
Who has done the work in the past?

Roles will vary with each process. Identifying all the decisionmakers early and agreeing on who will make what decision will help keep your process on track. Document who decisionmakers are in the action plan and take stock  and do reality checks regularly. Keep track of decisionmakers. If they change, ensure that new decisionmakers know what the process is and what is expected of them. Decisionmakers are your real clients.

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navigate in the page--What They Decide

Leadership is action, not position.

Each participant decides how much to be involved, what priority it has in relation to other activities, what to expect, andwhat resources (money, time, thought, etc.) to provide.

Groups and partners as a whole decide on ground rules and agree on who will do what and how. This is often couched as a Memorandum of Understanding, Statement of Work, contract agreement, partnership agreement, etc.

Organizations set up final decisionmakers who sign off on the final decision. This may be determined by our government structure, or it may be up to the individual agencies' hierarchy.

Each process has a different set of decisionmakers. Adapting the influence diagram of decisionmakers below to your project early in the process will help everyone understand their roles and responsibilities. List all decisions that need to be made and who will make them. This may help prevent decision delays--the decisionmaker will know that you are waiting and what the decision is about.

influence diagram of decisionmakers

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navigate in the page--Go On

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(See the power of your words)

Executive Summary Tour Take this car on a fast tourDefining Success <------> Communication

Helpful Hints Tourwizbang help here Participants <---> Core Team

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GeneralReclamation Decisionmakers


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