ORAPAPA theory

ORAPAPA Theory - toolshero

ORAPAPA theory: this article will explain the ORAPAPA theory in a practical way. After reading, you will understand the basics and importance of making the right decisions within the company.

What is the ORAPAPA theory?

It is important first to note that decision making cannot be taken for granted, meaning that decision making in companies is fundamental to success. It should be borne in mind that the company, whatever its current position is, is the result of the decisions that were taken.

Therefore, it is important to analyse each decision well because a single decision can lead to the total failure of an organization.

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With this in mind, it is important not only to make decisions, but to make good decisions. This ORAPAPA method will provide you with important factors to take into account when making decisions in order to give positive results in your company or in the businesses you carry out.

How do we know what right decisions are?

Making decisions is fundamental for the development, progress and success of an organization. However, in the decision making process ORAPAPA, the professional experience of the company’s managers is not so relevant since a bad decision is not equivalent to the years of work that a person can provide in the company.

Even the most experienced person with many years of experience can make bad decisions that result in big commercial disasters.

Before following the 7 factors provided by ORAPAPA theory, there should be a meeting with the team and collaborate, analyse, comment and opinions on the issue to be addressed. The different points of view ensure that in order to make the important decision first go through the filter of analysis with the different people involved.

The following questions are important to deepen the issue being discussed:

What benefits will this decision bring? What negative aspects could arise? is the decision viable or is it better to look for other possible solutions or ways out? Will resources and expenses be optimized or will costs rise first? These are important, among other questions related to the topic under discussion, to answer.

This could identify which possible risks could arise when making the decision. Always look for alternatives, dialogues, and analysis what is best for the organization both in the present and in the future in the short and long term.

ORAPAPA checklist for decision making

The ORAPAPA method provides seven important items when making verification decisions in the organization. With these reviewed, one can have more confidence at the time of the final decision.

  • Opportunities
  • Risks
  • Alternatives and improvements
  • Past experience
  • Analysis
  • People
  • Alignment

ORAPAPA checklist - toolshero


When using the ORAPAPA theory, one must be optimistic about the opportunities that will arise in the company. What will be gained by making a decision? How will the company benefit from this opportunity? This type of questioning makes opportunities positive in decision making.

Being optimistic about the opportunities that present themselves will provide the exploration of decisions with positive consequences for the organization.


Ask yourself what the possible risks are that can be presented in the short and long term if certain types of decisions or actions are taken. Present the most negative scenarios in order to analyse what is best for the company.

Will the risks that will appear be worth the rewards that the company will have?

The balance of risk and opportunity is important for the analysis to identify potential drawbacks or problems so you can make the best decision at that point in time. This type of assessment helps the people involved to express their opinions, comments and ideas on how to deal with the possible risks.

Every decision, no matter how simple, can lead to business risks. Therefore, prior analysis is vital for the company to have a contingency plan in case of problems and to cope with the situation.

Alternatives and improvements

Always have several alternatives for improvement in the situation that the company has to develop better. Being fixed on only one alternative can close your mind and perception when taking action in a situation.

From the original idea several alternatives can be born for the implementation of the processes needed. Analyse what other options are available, brainstorm with your team. Questions about improvements such as: How can opportunities be maximized and risks minimized? How can a solution be improved to address a problem in a more agile and easy way?

It is always important to have different improvement alternatives for the company. Listening to the other members of your team can open up new possibilities for solutions or improvements in the company.

Past experience

One must learn from the past situations that the company has experienced. Sometimes certain situations or processes tend to be regretted, so it is necessary to learn from what was experienced before and thus be able to relate the decisions of the present with the past if some similar process is being done.

Look for historic records, see if it has been done before, review how that situation was handled and what the result was. Normally it is not necessary to make decisions from scratch since I can see a history that serves as a background for new decisions and actions in business.

Whether it failed, or it was a success, how can it be used in favour of the project you are currently working on in the organisation?


Analyse the data you have at your disposal on the previous investigation to be able to make decisions.

The balance of data and human perception results in a decision that has a history of argument that gives why the decision was made. This will shield decisions from possible negative situations that may arise in the future.

Check the data you have two or three times to be able to make the necessary decisions. Look for blind spots or possible drawbacks so you can be prepared in advance. Use analysis tools that help you to have a more specific view of the situation you are experiencing.

With the analysis you will be able to move forward, stop or deviate from the situation.


Consider the people who are involved or who are important to the decisions you will make. Listening to what they have to say, what they think or what they want to express, will help you make your decision and also let the members of your team know that they are an important part of the actions.

Comments and different perspectives can help you to see a broader picture of your future decisions.


When making decisions, the cultural and strategic alignment of the company must be taken into account. Take this into account so as not to deviate or change with the decisions the organizational philosophy that you have, this could affect if you are not clear about the line of the company.

Also if the decisions are ethical, if they are adjusted not only to individual convenience but globally to all those who belong to the company. Think about whether it is convenient or not, whether it is ethical or not, whether it is connected to the organizational culture.

This type of questioning is important for making important business decisions.

Aligning the decision with the company’s objectives

Using the 7 items to make a decision will not mean that the decision will be 100% correct in most cases, however, it is a basis for possible success when making choices. Make the best decision after a thorough review of everything that makes up the decision for the fulfilment of final objectives. The ORAPAPA checklist can support this process.

ORAPAPA for today’s companies

The Decision Making Method (ORAPAPA) does not promise that every decision we make will be the right one. However, it does give us the tool to verify the decision that will be made. This makes the chances of success greater with better decisions.

Today’s companies are in constant change due to the speed of information, technological changes, standardization process flows and agility, they even have to adapt international standards according to the company and its market, this is why the importance of decisions is paramount for a good business present and future.

A single decision, however simple it may seem, can generate great changes that lead to success or, on the contrary, bring about tragic business problems that are difficult to solve. A decision can lead to a state of balance, innovation, creation or simply destroy history, status and new projects.

With the ORAPAPA theory, it is possible to deeply verify the decisions that the organization intends to take for a specific situation or project. Without leaving out opinions, ideas or thoughts that the team that makes up the project is left out of the decision since its participation is valued.


The ORAPAPA Decision Making Method helps to verify the decisions that a manager or the work group will take in the situations presented by the company, whether with regards to new projects or internal changes in the organization.

Verifying before taking the final decision will help to build confidence in the decisions taken.

Having researched, having data and information plus the opinions and comments of the team members will give a manager the confidence to put the decision taken into action.

With these 7 steps of verification, you will be able to make the decision that is best for the organization. You should keep in mind that the 7 items will not lead to 100% success of the decision, it is simply a guide of confidence in which the deep analysis and the priorities of reviewing risks, objectives of improvement, reflection of if this or another decision is taken are valid to be able to make the final decision.

It also leads to reflection and prior research before making the final decision. Having data and numbers that support the decision will be a support for the final decision, which can be the background for future business decisions or discussions that may arise.

Having confidence in what is done and why it is done is an important pillar for the company and its background. Quantitative and qualitative support is essential for major decisions that can benefit the company in a positive way in the future.

Also thinking about the decision in an objective rather than subjective way will make the picture broader. Question which factors or employees will be affected by the decision. What is more convenient? What alternatives are there? Because of the decision must be taken, what collateral damage there will occur?

The verification of the scenario in the decision making process must also be verified since it is a decision that can affect both the market in which the company operates and the people who work in the company, investors, suppliers, processes, etc.

This verification must be linked to the company’s guidelines, its culture, its history in the industry, values, etc.

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It’s your turn

What do you think? Do you think the ORAPAPA Decision Making method is important at present? have you used this method in your company? If so, please share your experience with us. Do you have anything else to add or any suggestions?

Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.

More information

  1. Elbanna, S. (2006). Strategic decision‐making: Process perspectives. International Journal of Management Reviews, 8(1), 1-20.
  2. Sanayei, A., Mousavi, S. F., & Yazdankhah, A. (2010). Group decision making process for supplier selection with VIKOR under fuzzy environment. Expert Systems with Applications, 37(1), 24-30.
  3. Zartman, W. (1977). Negotiation as a joint decision-making process. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 21(4), 619-638.
  4. Cubillo, J. M., Sánchez, J., & Cerviño, J. (2006). International students’ decision‐making process. International Journal of Educational Management.

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Published on: 17/11/2020 | Last update: 03/03/2022

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Daniela Avendaño
Article by:

Daniela Avendaño

Daniela Avendaño is a content producer and translator at toolshero. She obtained a Bachelor in Communications & Journalism, and with her theoretical and practical knowledge she supports the toolshero production team with interesting articles on management, personal & professional development, marketing and more. She is driven by sharing knowledge and stimulating others to develop.


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