Considering options | Te whai whakaaro ki ngā kōwhiringa

Collective understanding of options supports better decision-making.

Options analysis

Options analysis is a method to assess the different ways to achieve a given outcome. You can do this by identifying options, assessing their feasibility and selecting the preferred options.

When identifying options, it can be helpful to define a baseline scenario for what might happen without intervention, like a change in policy or action. Sometimes this is referred to as a ‘business as usual’ scenario. However, with some of the challenging transitions we face, the term ‘business as usual’ is increasingly misleading because change of some kind will be inevitable.

The selection of an appropriate baseline scenario allows you to evaluate the impacts, opportunities, costs and benefits associated with different choices.

When you are facing uncertainty, it can be useful to consider multiple scenarios for how the future might unfold and the implications for the options you are considering.

Feasibility assessment

Feasibility assessment is used to test whether options will be practical and desirable to implement. This should address what is needed for success and identify any barriers. Feasibility assessments should use sound evidence and be reported transparently. Getting independent analysis or peer review can ensure you make decisions with objectivity and credibility.

Choosing options requires you to compare different choices and find trade-offs and places where intervention is necessary. The criteria and responsibilities for selecting options should be agreed as part of the broader process design, and be guided by principles of inclusiveness and equity.

Feasibility studies(external link) — CommunityNet Aotearoa