DARE Decision Making Model

In a corporate context, it is very easy to get bogged down with bureaucracy and get nothing done. You hear about this notoriously in bigger companies. Often, this may happen if people in the company do not know who is responsible for identifying potential projects, who is responsible for making the decisions on which projects to do, and who is responsible for executing the projects. If there is no organizational clarity on who is responsible for doing what and who ultimately gets the final say in the matter, employees in companies may go around in circles and waste time.
The DARE decision making model is a way to better clarify roles in specific projects. This article will share more about the DARE decision making model and how it compares to other decision making models (e.g., RACI).

DARE Decision Making Model

What is the DARE Decision Making Model

The DARE decision making model is a framework companies can use to streamline the decision making process. Specifically, the DARE decision making model enables clear delegation of employees into specific roles and makes it exceptionally clear who the decision maker is. The DARE decision making framework is an alternative to the RACI. For background, the RACI framework stands for:

  • R: Responsible
  • A: Accountable
  • C: Consulted
  • I: Informed

You can learn more about the RACI framework here.

While the RACI framework is helpful in laying out who is the doer (“responsible stakeholder”) and who is ultimately accountable for getting the work done (“accountable stakeholder” similar to a manager), it does not dictate who the decision makers are. The DARE decision making model is useful in that it lays out who gets the final say in decisions.

What Does the DARE Decision Making Model Stand for

The DARE decision making model stands for:

D – Deciders

The deciders are the executives that are usually accountable for the project; the deciders are ultimately the individuals that proverbially “vote” on the project. Given the high stakes of the deciders role, they can ask the advisors for their opinions and / or ask the recommenders to conduct additional analysis to get to the bottom of the issue.

A – Advisors

The advisors title speaks for itself; the advisors’ role is to give advice to the deciders on which outcome to choose.

R – Recommenders

The recommenders are the stakeholders that actually do the analysis to determine the pros and cons of each potential option and what you need to believe for each option to work. Ultimately, if the recommenders don’t do excellent work, the deciders will have incomplete information to influence their decision.

E – Execution Stakeholders

The recommender and the execution stakeholder roles are somewhat similar, given both of these roles are “doer” roles. However, unlike the recommender, the execution stakeholder carries out and implements the final project, once it is decided upon. The execution stakeholder is responsible for getting the work done.

DARE Decision Making Model Examples

The DARE decision model can be used in any corporate context. In a consulting engagement, a hypothetical way to use the DARE decision making model is as follows:

Deciders: This is going to be the client stakeholder (e.g., the CEO, CFO, COO, etc.)
Advisors: The advisors will be the engagement managers, associate partners / principals, partners, etc. that will influence the client on which path to take.
Recommenders: The recommenders are the broader consulting team – specifically, the analysts, associates, and engagement managers will be in charge of crafting a compelling set of options and driving to second and third level insights.
Execution Stakeholders: The execution stakeholders will be the client’s team who will move this over to the finish line.

How to Use the DARE Decision Making Model

The most important aspect of using the DARE decision making model is to make sure you designate each stakeholder to their roles, and each stakeholder knows their role well. For example, if advisors think they are deciders, the situation can quickly unravel. One way to use the DARE decision making model as a junior level employee is to ask your manager who is in each metaphorical role, and then make sure the decision makers are in the relevant meetings. In addition, in a consulting project, you can have a kickoff where you assign team members to specific roles.


The DARE decision making model is a helpful framework to use when dealing with ambiguity at work and not knowing who has the final say over key decisions. As a junior level consultant, you can always be proactive and use the model by asking your engagement manager: “Who are the relevant stakeholders in this context? Who is the ultimate decision maker?”

You can also use the DARE decision making model as a way to frame your fit interview answers in an interview setting. For example, if you are asked about how you have previously managed conflict, you can use the DARE framework to clearly lay out all the relevant parties in your mini “story.” For support with an ex-MBB consultant on how to use the DARE model to frame your fit interview questions, please click here.


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Filed Under: Consulting skills