Do you need a decision making process?

Is your team relying on gut instinct, have they considered all the angles, have they overestimated their abilities, are they doing what they’ve always done? Are they avoiding the decision (which is a decision in itself)?

Do you need a decision making process?

We think there are 2,310,000 reasons.

That’s the number of decisions a 50 person team will make delivering a 3 year program.

There is some basis to these numbers – listen to Columbia Business School’s Professor Sheena Iyengar. 

That’s a lot of decisions.  Obviously not all of them will be critical i.e. most won’t have an impact on scope, schedule or budget.  But if you assume half of your team will make at least 1 critical decision each month that’s 900 decisions you’ll want to get right.

Do you know how decisions are being made?

Is your team relying on gut instinct, have they considered all the angles, have they overestimated their abilities, are they doing what they’ve always done?  Are they avoiding the decision (which is a decision in itself)?

The fact is without a decision making process you simply won’t know.

Here’s what a good decision making process can do for your team:

There are 5 steps you will need to take to build  a good decision making process.

How do you know if you’ve got a good decision making process?

Start with the decision log – when was the last time a decision was recorded in the log? Then move to the decision templates – have you asked the Board if it has too much/not enough information?  While on the subject of Boards, take a look at the Oversight Chart.  Can some of those oversight bodies be combined or done away with altogether?  Then finish with a review of the program’s foundation documents – is the stakeholder map and RACI matrix up to date?

This is just one approach to stress test your decision making process to make sure it’s solid enough to withstand the onslaught of 900 critical decisions.   If you don’t think it is, it’s not too late.  A decision making process will evolve through a program’s life.  In fact a good decision making process will incorporate feedback mechanisms so you can monitor if it’s helping or hindering.

Drop us an email if you would like to discuss your decision making process or take a look at some of the decision making templates we use.

APIS CANBERRA INTERNATIONAL 2017