A nonroutine decision is a choice made to deal with a non-repetitive, tactical situation. These decisions typically involve situations that fall outside of the normal operating procedures of a business. When such a situation arises, the operating procedures mandate that the decision be bumped out of the normal operating flow and sent to a manager for resolution. Examples of such nonroutine decisions are:
- Whether to offer credit to a customer whose financial situation is weak
- Whether to alter the production schedule to deal with a rush customer order
- Whether to accept a customer order for a non-standard product that requires special processing
When a business has a comprehensive suite of standard operating procedures, there should be relatively few nonroutine decisions, since most decisions have been accounted for by the procedures.
Some nonroutine decisions cannot be standardized. Instead, someone must make a decision regarding which tactical alternative to take. For example, a manager must decide whether to stop selling a product, or whether to make a product in-house or have it produced by a third party. These decisions typically involve some analysis of the costs and margins involved, as well as future projections.