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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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In every process, you will need to prioritize items. Find a fair, open way to rank them and apply it consistently.

You may need to prioritize issues and actions, determine the relative strengths and weaknesses of alternatives, create a schedule, decide which functions are more important for an alternative, etc. A group effort will probably be more valuable in the long run to build consent and to cover all the bases.


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There are several ways to organize group rankings to avoid chaos:

  • List all items in a prominent place. Have everyone assign a number value from one to the number of items. Add the assigned numbers together for each item. The item with the lowest value thus becomes the most important item, and so on.
  • List all items in a prominent place. Have everyone group the items (the three most important, the next three, and so forth). Get together in small focus groups and negotiate these groupings. Report each group's groupings. If these are similar, have representatives negotiate between the groups. If these are not similar, you may need to analyze the reasons for rankings before hammering out an agreement.
  • Play trading cards.
  • Use polling techniques.
  • Categorize with affinity grouping.


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