Project Management

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Topics: Leadership, Talent Management, Teams
Decision Making and Project Management
All project managers have to make decisions

Do you systematically follow a decision-making process?

Want to share with us your insight on the subject?

If you use a decision-making process, what steps do you consider?
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The important approach to the decision making process is not to be bound by it. By this I mean that in some instances you will have more information and clarity about a situation when making a decision compared to other times. The most important task is to validate the information that you receive as much as possible before you even think about acting upon it. Also a point of escalation for the decision making process should exist within a team and escalate up to a decision point, that is a person in authority who has all the available information at hand to make a decision. A project manager needs to balance all lines of communication carefully so that any decision made which has ramifications further along the line needs to relayed and explain appropriately. Involving more people in the decision making process to dilute the risk is not a very professional approach to dealing with the decision making process and shows a distinct lack of leadership by the project manager. The use of percentage risk and outcome is an approach being adopted where every risk is weigh including the risk associated with making a decision that leads to a bad outcome.
...
2 replies by Daire Guiney and Luis Branco
Jan 02, 2020 3:55 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Daire
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

After reading what you wrote, I was able to identify at least three points that I would like to consider.
1. Collect facts and all information
2. Consult the people who will be involved in the decision.
3. Think carefully before making the decision (this should be from the project manager)

Do you validate these 3 points?

Are there any other points to add?
Jan 03, 2020 6:18 AM
Daire Guiney
...
Dear Luis,

The point that I am trying to get across is that even as human beings and project managers we have made millions of decisions in our lives, some trivial and some career ending and some career defining but the process for each decision is some how unique to that set of characteristics and the circumstances that we find ourselves in at that point in time. Yes there is a process that we can go through, a sort of check list and tick box but at the end of the day a lot of 'gut instinct' plays it part in the decisions we make. Quotes like, if it seems too good to be true'; ' if it looks like a duck...' you get the idea, play in the back of our brain and ultimately influence our decision making process.
Jan 02, 2020 3:16 PM
Replying to Daire Guiney
...
The important approach to the decision making process is not to be bound by it. By this I mean that in some instances you will have more information and clarity about a situation when making a decision compared to other times. The most important task is to validate the information that you receive as much as possible before you even think about acting upon it. Also a point of escalation for the decision making process should exist within a team and escalate up to a decision point, that is a person in authority who has all the available information at hand to make a decision. A project manager needs to balance all lines of communication carefully so that any decision made which has ramifications further along the line needs to relayed and explain appropriately. Involving more people in the decision making process to dilute the risk is not a very professional approach to dealing with the decision making process and shows a distinct lack of leadership by the project manager. The use of percentage risk and outcome is an approach being adopted where every risk is weigh including the risk associated with making a decision that leads to a bad outcome.
Dear Daire
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

After reading what you wrote, I was able to identify at least three points that I would like to consider.
1. Collect facts and all information
2. Consult the people who will be involved in the decision.
3. Think carefully before making the decision (this should be from the project manager)

Do you validate these 3 points?

Are there any other points to add?
Luis -

I think it is valuable when facing a complex decision-making situation on a project to define the process upfront for how key decisions will get made and the governance around those. This will reduce waste when such decisions emerge.

Kiron
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 02, 2020 4:21 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

We are in agreement with what you wrote: "I think it is valuable when facing a complex decision-making situation on a project to define the process upfront for how key decisions will get made and the governance around those"

Do you have any process already defined?

What is your opinion about the 3 points suggested by Daire? (and presented otherwise by me)
Jan 02, 2020 4:08 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Luis -

I think it is valuable when facing a complex decision-making situation on a project to define the process upfront for how key decisions will get made and the governance around those. This will reduce waste when such decisions emerge.

Kiron
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

We are in agreement with what you wrote: "I think it is valuable when facing a complex decision-making situation on a project to define the process upfront for how key decisions will get made and the governance around those"

Do you have any process already defined?

What is your opinion about the 3 points suggested by Daire? (and presented otherwise by me)
...
2 replies by Kiron Bondale and Thomas Walenta
Jan 03, 2020 2:47 AM
Thomas Walenta
...
A good example is the change management process and basically anything you define in the Project Management Plan.
Jan 03, 2020 8:52 AM
Kiron Bondale
...
I would suggest that collecting "all information" might be wasteful. The focus should be on minimal sufficiency.

Decisions need to be timed well - I like the lean principle of waiting till the last responsible moment a lot. A good PM has the judgment to do the mental calculation of whether the Cost of Delay exceeds the Cost of a Poor Decision before proceeding...

Kiron
Watching this thread with interest, I would like to add another dimension to some of the great responses supplied. Great thread Luis. Good question!

I have a philosophy around the use of digital data and analytics and/or using automation and AI to provide you with digital decisions that can then be used to as a basis for human decision making processors. Particularly useful for our C level.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 03, 2020 5:53 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Evan
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Interesting to use "digital data and analytics and / or using automation and AI to provide you with digital decisions that can then be used to as a basis for human decision making processors"

We can include what you do in:
1. Collect facts and all information

Or we may also consider that we are including the point:
2. Consult the people who will be involved in the decision.

Would you add any more phases to the decision making process?
Jan 02, 2020 4:21 PM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

We are in agreement with what you wrote: "I think it is valuable when facing a complex decision-making situation on a project to define the process upfront for how key decisions will get made and the governance around those"

Do you have any process already defined?

What is your opinion about the 3 points suggested by Daire? (and presented otherwise by me)
A good example is the change management process and basically anything you define in the Project Management Plan.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 03, 2020 5:58 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Thomas
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

I agree with you.
The decision making process may be "defined in the project management plan"

Want to share what we can use from the "change management process"?
Jan 02, 2020 8:09 PM
Replying to Evan Hopkins
...
Watching this thread with interest, I would like to add another dimension to some of the great responses supplied. Great thread Luis. Good question!

I have a philosophy around the use of digital data and analytics and/or using automation and AI to provide you with digital decisions that can then be used to as a basis for human decision making processors. Particularly useful for our C level.
Dear Evan
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Interesting to use "digital data and analytics and / or using automation and AI to provide you with digital decisions that can then be used to as a basis for human decision making processors"

We can include what you do in:
1. Collect facts and all information

Or we may also consider that we are including the point:
2. Consult the people who will be involved in the decision.

Would you add any more phases to the decision making process?
Jan 03, 2020 2:47 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
A good example is the change management process and basically anything you define in the Project Management Plan.
Dear Thomas
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

I agree with you.
The decision making process may be "defined in the project management plan"

Want to share what we can use from the "change management process"?
...
1 reply by Thomas Walenta
Jan 03, 2020 10:51 AM
Thomas Walenta
...
Luis,

I meant that the project management plan contains multiple processes how to make decisions during the project, e.g. for reporting, planning, risk management and also for how to decide on changes.
Another example is in Scrum the DoD and DoR agreements.

All the time you standardize something it is to support decisions in a pre-planned way and not to have repeat all the rationalizations. Some of these processes might even be automated (computers making decisions).
Hi Luis,

"Decision Making" - This is one of the main capability of all leaders in any type of organization.

It's one of the property which can't be learned it's by born. Because it's an intangible property which anybody can use social, family & organization belt also.

In my opinion it's particularly a "MASTER VOICE", just like "DO AS I SAY".

(I have got the below points from internet, like to share with you)

7 Steps in Decision Making: from Identification to Implementation

1 Identify a problem or opportunity
• The first step is to recognize a problem or to see opportunities that may be worthwhile.
• Will it really make a difference to our customers?
• How worthwhile will it be to solve this problem or realize this opportunity?

2 Gather information
• What is relevant and what is not relevant to the decision?
• What do you need to know before you can make a decision, or that will help you make the right one?
• Who knows, who can help, who has the power and influence to make this happen (or to stop it)?

3 Analyze the situation
• What alternative courses of action may be available to you?
• What different interpretations of the data may be possible?

4 Develop options(Alternative Solution)
• Generate several possible options.
• Be creative and positive.
• Ask “what if” questions.
• How would you like your situation to be?

5 Evaluate alternatives
• What criteria should you use to evaluate?
• Evaluate for feasibility, acceptability and desirability.
• Which alternative will best achieve your objectives?

6 Select a preferred alternative
• Explore the provisional preferred alternative for future possible adverse consequences.
• What problems might it create?
• What are the risks of making this decision?

7 Act on the decision
• Put a plan in place to implement the decision.
• Have you allocated resources to implement?
• Is the decision accepted and supported by colleagues?
• Are they committed to making the decision work?

Thanks,
Rajon
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 03, 2020 6:37 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Rajon
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

You wrote: "It's one of the property which can't be learned it's born"

I would like to better understand your point of view

On the other hand you wrote: "Decision Making" - This is one of the main capability of all leaders in any type of organization "

How do you relate the two points?
Jan 02, 2020 3:16 PM
Replying to Daire Guiney
...
The important approach to the decision making process is not to be bound by it. By this I mean that in some instances you will have more information and clarity about a situation when making a decision compared to other times. The most important task is to validate the information that you receive as much as possible before you even think about acting upon it. Also a point of escalation for the decision making process should exist within a team and escalate up to a decision point, that is a person in authority who has all the available information at hand to make a decision. A project manager needs to balance all lines of communication carefully so that any decision made which has ramifications further along the line needs to relayed and explain appropriately. Involving more people in the decision making process to dilute the risk is not a very professional approach to dealing with the decision making process and shows a distinct lack of leadership by the project manager. The use of percentage risk and outcome is an approach being adopted where every risk is weigh including the risk associated with making a decision that leads to a bad outcome.
Dear Luis,

The point that I am trying to get across is that even as human beings and project managers we have made millions of decisions in our lives, some trivial and some career ending and some career defining but the process for each decision is some how unique to that set of characteristics and the circumstances that we find ourselves in at that point in time. Yes there is a process that we can go through, a sort of check list and tick box but at the end of the day a lot of 'gut instinct' plays it part in the decisions we make. Quotes like, if it seems too good to be true'; ' if it looks like a duck...' you get the idea, play in the back of our brain and ultimately influence our decision making process.
...
2 replies by Daire Guiney and Luis Branco
Jan 03, 2020 7:02 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Daire
Thank you for sharing this perspective.

Wrote: "the process for each decision is somehow unique to that set of characteristics and circumstances that we find ourselves in that point in time"

How do you relate what you wrote to: "We are free to choose but responsible for the results"

What is the best way to proceed when our decision affects other people?
Jan 04, 2020 6:52 AM
Daire Guiney
...
Dear Luis,

Just to clarify the situation, I did not write "We are free to choose but responsible for the results". You must have read this somewhere else.

As regarding the first quote "the process for each decision is somehow unique to that set of characteristics and circumstances that we find ourselves in that point in time". The way we approach the decision making process evolves with our careers and the experience we gain from each decision that we make. As a result intuitively we have a sort of sixth sense that realises whether a set of circumstances is true or false.

Daire
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