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Topics: Agile, Business Intelligence, Communications Management
How to make better decisions?
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When making a decision of major importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. However, some people seem to be more naturally inclined to take an intuitive approach in making decisions. I believe knowledge is very important in making decisions, so it is better to ask questions, like who? what? where? when? why? and how?, also do research and use decision support systems. What is your opinion?
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I feel that the round-table approach would work by having all the key players meet and discuss the 5W's and how? A consensus is the ultimate goal to achieve the right decision being made.
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2 replies by Anish Abraham and Wendy English
Jan 19, 2018 11:01 AM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Drake for your feedback on this.
I think brainstorming technique would help to bring more ideas on the table.
Jan 19, 2018 1:55 PM
Wendy English
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I agree consensus is important in decision making.
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I feel facts driven decision making would be more reliable and acceptable. At many occasion where we couldn't able to collect appropriate (or satisfactory) amount of facts and information formally intuition is only way to make decision.

Actually intuition depends on historical data and deep insight drawn from it which could vary from one individual to other thereon translated into a perception cum belief. Such decision makings may have subjectivity also (i.e. process of intuition building) !

Agree with Drake - Round table approach could surface a shared viewpoint in decision making.

Rajeev
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Jan 19, 2018 11:09 AM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Rajeev for your insight on this.
I think timing is also very important. With most people the pressure they are under or moods affects their decision making ability.
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Keep your friends close, and enemies closer. Knowing all the facts, and all the major players in that decision is key.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Jan 19, 2018 11:14 AM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Sante for your response.
I think sometimes just talking over with other people can help, especially if they had experience solving similar problems.
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Anish,
This is a very wide question which test your ability as a good leader but don't worry even most successful leaders they make bad decisions sometimes.
I would mention few things to generate better decisions:-
Remove your self from the situation and think out of the box, gather data and information as much as you can and confirm the trusted source of information, widen your choices don't use narrow framing use better framing, remove bias and emotion, do situation analysis, cost benefit analysis, risk reward ratio, what are the consequences, check if it is the right thing to do, finally prepare your self if it turn to be a wrong decision have a back up plan, I assumed that you ask for your self otherwise if as group decision there we all know there are so many techniques you can apply, like nominal group,Delphi technique etc.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Jan 19, 2018 11:28 AM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Riyadh and I really appreciate your feedback on this.
I think the stakeholders need to create a culture of creativity. They should recognize innovative ideas and tolerate failures to some extent.
If you punish team members for mistakes, they will try to avoid creative decisions because it involves risk. This is just my opinion.
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First, "better" is a subjective matter. Second, intuition is based on knowledge. You can search about it inside neuroscience and quantum physic studies.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Jan 19, 2018 11:31 AM
Anish Abraham
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I agree Sergio on this.
Knowledge is power and it's true in making even the simplest decisions.
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Yes, certainly engaging with the audience, understanding the audience, asking questions to help define the story.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Jan 19, 2018 11:47 AM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Andrew, for your response.
I believe that successful PMs always compete on analytics. They use business intelligence to make fact based decisions.
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Intuitive approach could also be from expert judgement, so there is nothing wrong with it. However given there is a luxury of time, it is always good to deep dive by asking questions and quantifying as much as possible. Then you can see whether the data aligns with your intuition. However be careful not to make the intuition bias your data!

I know successful people from my experience who make intuitive decisions, try it out in a small scale and course correct along the way rather than spend all the time in collecting and analyzing data before making the decisions.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Jan 19, 2018 12:08 PM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Abhinav for your response on this.
Intuition without facts and analysis can be deadly. However, I believe that the key stakeholders should be able to modify decisions, even bad ones, with time.
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Anish -

It depends on so many factors including the amount of time you have to make the decision, the number of stakeholders involved in the decision, the ability to reverse the decision without loss, the cost of making a bad decision and so on.

As with most PM scenarios, the higher the stakes or criticality, the greater the rigor you are likely to apply, and the more emphasis on one type of decision making over another (e.g. autocratic vs. consensus).

In most cases, we'd like to have as much information as possible to make a qualified, educated decision, but the cost of delay and the cost of acquiring that information needs to be considered.

While "gut feeling" can work, especially for those with years of pertinent experience, our biases can cause us to ignore valid information, hence wrapping some structure around the process will help.

Kiron
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2 replies by Anish Abraham and Henry Hattenrath
Jan 19, 2018 12:19 PM
Anish Abraham
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Kiron, thanks for your insight on this.
I think as a PM it's better to be open minded, seek information and opinions from a variety of people. This will help widen the frame of reference and to push the mind in fresh directions.
Jan 19, 2018 7:09 PM
Henry Hattenrath
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Kiron

You have raised excellent topics to consider in the decision making process for selecting the best solution to a problem. In the pressure to solve problems, some decision makers can unintentionally be biased to allow benefits to over shadow the process by ignoring other information that should be assessed in the process, including the cost and schedule impacts to implement the solution, and consequences of the decision on other elements of the project/program.

And lastly - decisions that are irreversible only lead to more bad decisions.

Henry
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They are all important and can help. information, available options, other opinions, different viewpoints, decision making method/tools, etc.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Jan 19, 2018 12:21 PM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Abolfazi for your feedback on this.
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Jan 18, 2018 11:23 PM
Replying to Drake Settsu
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I feel that the round-table approach would work by having all the key players meet and discuss the 5W's and how? A consensus is the ultimate goal to achieve the right decision being made.
Thanks Drake for your feedback on this.
I think brainstorming technique would help to bring more ideas on the table.
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