When it comes to decision-making on your HOA Board, efficiency is as important as effectiveness. Many Boards struggle with efficiency because they lack a decision-making process. Time is a valuable resource for everyone, especially for volunteers serving on a homeowner association board. Every Board needs to establish a decision-making process that minimizes time-consuming debates and produces effective results. A standard process facilitates equality and consistency in Board decisions while minimizing hasty reactions to situations that arise in the community.

An effective decision-making process involves several components, and it requires participation from all Board members to identify the elements that meet the Board’s needs. Your governing documents may contain parameters for voting, etc., so review those so you can incorporate those guidelines in your decision process. Below are some points to consider:

Handling Unpredictable Events – Anticipating issues is key to proactively managing your community, but unforeseen events can still occur. A formalized process and experience aids Board members in making clear decisions when faced with changing circumstances. Because every member knows the decision-making process, there’s less stress and conflict among Board members.

Know Your Numbers – Governing documents typically outline what constitutes a majority, a quorum, abstaining and absentee votes. Every Board member should be aware of your preferred method (unanimous vs. consensus) for making decisions.

Support HOA Board Decisions – Not every Board member will agree with a final decision. However, every member should show support and uphold all Board decisions. When you walk out the door after a meeting, all Board members should present a united front to the community.

Steps in Making Decisions – Typical steps for making a decision include identifying the decision to be made, possible options, researching/gathering information, making the decision and evaluating the decision. Depending on the complexity of the situation, some steps can happen simultaneously.

Creating a decision-making template and supporting documents for your decision-making process can keep all Board members on the same page. You can develop your own templates or search Internet for free documents. Idea Sandbox and Microsoft also have a variety of templates and analytical documents that you can download at no charge.

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