Project Return

Decisions, Decisions, and More Decisions. But what about “THIS”?

November 7th , 2016

Can you imagine your day at work when you have not made a single decision?

I guess it would be practically impossible to find such a day in your official calendar!

Irrespective of the title you hold and the work you perform, professionals make numerous decisions on a daily basis. Now expand this to cover the entire company, and you will be shocked at the sheer volume of decisions made!

From an enterprise level, move to a portfolio or business unit level and then to a team level. There would be numerous teams in a large enterprise. These teams address customer needs representing different industries, locations, countries, and geographies.

Let us take the case of a business unit that has about five different teams – all of them providing solutions in the same industry. These groups make a ton of decisions in a year.

The big question now is: Do you have a database of these decisions made?

Very unlikely!

For a minute, let us assume that you have a list of decisions taken.

Is there any merit to ‘audit’ these decisions?

“Did we hear it right?”

“An ‘audit’ of decisions made?”

“We must be crazy even to think of something like that!”

I guess those to be some of the typical bursts of emotion!

Why should you? After all, you have the most competent and highly skilled employees coupled with processes to run the business. To top it all, your financial topline and the bottom line are healthy, and your investors are happy.

Now, for the shocking part!

Research in the field of decision making has unearthed some disturbing trends. Even the Fortune listed companies are prone to this! Data indicates that a single home loan application submitted to two different branches of the same company was dealt with very differently. It is a sad story that the customer, in this case, was upset and went to a competitor!

Some more examples of this ‘inconsistent decision making’ include –

• Seasoned managers had approved worthless Projects & Programs

• Medical prescriptions by two specialized doctors were off

• Employee appraisals were found to be skewed (this is very common)

• And…many more.

In fact, organizations and business leaders do not even realize the scale of this problem till a serious issue or a significant client escalation crops up when the hell breaks loose in an attempt to ‘diagnose’ and ‘fix it.’

Now, why does this inconsistency in decision making exist?

Again, research attributes this to multiple reasons with Noise and Bias being the top culprits. (We will save Noise and Bias for another blog.)

I hope by now, you have figured out the answer to my question posed at the beginning?

If not, here it is –

Does your organization have a ‘Process’ to make decisions? And a subsequent Decision Making Audit?

Sounds cool? Actually, it should be ‘hot’ on your organizational priorities?

Now, do you have a process to decide what is ‘hot’ and what is ‘not’?