Effective Decision Making: Dealing with Business Complexity

Course 3 of 3: Professional Certificate® in Leadership Essentials for Engineers 5 Weeks 4 – 5 hours per week

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About this course

As an engineer in a leadership position, you will be faced with new responsibilities and tasks. These may include developing a business (unit) strategy and a business plan or being involved in strategic planning. Your success in dealing with these new responsibilities will largely depend on your ability to have a helicopter view of a situation and to make sound decisions.

In order to make decisions to move organizations forward, leaders will need to ensure that business goals are achievable and well-balanced while also taking into account the uncertainty of future developments. In a complex business environment, a sound strategy is the result of applying an analytical mindset and using a systematic approach to decision making.

This course will help you to build and apply an analytical toolkit including:

  • stakeholder goal trees to develop a clear set of measurable goals,
  • scenarios to prepare for future situations that may be different from what you expect,
  • multi-criteria analysis to assess which decisions can help you reach your goals.

The focus of the course will be on utilizing your analytical skills in a business context, allowing you to unravel complex situations requiring decisions.
Upon completion of this course, you will be introduced to an analytical mindset and toolkit, and use these in order to write a managerial summary of a business situation analysis to inform an effective decision for your business strategy.


What you’ll learn

  • How to use a systematic approach to successfully deal with complex decision situations
  • How to develop stakeholder goal trees, draw up scenarios, and conduct a multi-criteria analysis
  • How to employ an analytical mindset through writing a managerial summary of a business situation analysis that helps your organization move in the desired direction


The course is designed for individuals who are in a leadership positions or preparing for such positions in the future. Few years of experience in an organizational setting will be an advantage, but is not a requirement.


The course materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) 4.0 International License.

Meet Your Instructors

Alexander de Haan

Business Analyst and Strategic Consultant Alexander graduated as an aerospace engineer as well as an organizational psychologist. He holds a PhD on the analysis of sustainable aircraft technology. He works from his own company as consultant, coach, trainer and business analyst.

Hans de Bruijn

Professor of Public Administration in the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology Prof dr Hans de Bruijn is Professor of Public Administration in the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology. His research focuses on governance issues at the intersection of politics, management and technology, such as decision-making about large-scale infrastructure projects, the privatisation and deregulation of utilities, safety and security, river management, regulation and inspection, managing professionals and various types of government policy relating to technology.

Els van Daalen

Associate Professor of Policy Analysis at Delft University of Technology Els has an MSc in mechanical engineering and holds a PhD from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands on the topic of validation of knowledge based systems. She is associate professor of policy analysis at Delft University, and has been involved in teaching and research on methods for systems and policy analysis for over 20 years.

Experience Level


Learning Partner

Delft University of Technology

Program Type

Professional Certificate


Business & Management
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