Unfortunately when confronted with problems a lot of people spend all of their time finding solutions, and thereby, miss out on some of the most important steps.
Often omitted — yet probably the most important one — is seeing the overall context. How can you make solid decisions when you don’t look at the big picture? So make sure you’ve got a solid base before you start addressing the problem at hand. Understand yourself. Understand everybody who might be affected by your decision. Do you have a shared vision?
Now, where exactly is reality diverging from the vision? Here’s where you call the demon by its name. This point is all about precision. What are the criteria for good solutions?
Be creative! Having understood the context and the problem first, this step should be easy.
Now, sometimes making a solid decision without going more into the details is not yet possible and you decide to preselect some of the solutions and concretize them. You might shortlist and repeat this step until you feel ready to make the final selection.
This should be easy now.
Break it down into milestones as much as you can. This is about project management.
Sadly often forgotten too, this point requires step 1 — having understood the context. If you did it properly, you should know exactly how to get support for your solution now.
Often the best planning and decision-making is prone to unpredictable circumstances and plans have to be adapted. This is a great opportunity to learn. Never underestimate the power of iteration.