Sunday, May 27, 2007

Considerations in Decision Making

There are always more than three options to consider. Beware of the sandwich game in which an option favored by staff is put between "Do nothing" and "Do a lot."

Is the decision reversible? If so, make it quickly. If not, slow down.

Is a definitive solution possible or is the current situation as good as it will ever get? Don't seek a solution where one is not possible.

Will the appearance of the course of action significantly detract from its effectiveness?

What are the downsides? If you see none, look more closely and beware of rushing to discount the negatives.

Which has the worst case scenario: Action or inaction?

Who carries the greatest burdens and risks? Can those be lightened?

Which is more important: Speed or quality?

Is time a friend or an enemy?

Do you have a diverse pool of advisors or have you assembled people who are likely to produce only one diagnosis?

What do you want the decision to produce? What do you want to to avoid?

What options are closed and opened by taking a proposed course of action?

Is your plan of action overly complicated?

What are your fall-back plans?

Do you have the resolution, people, and resources for bold execution of the final decision? Bold execution of a relatively poor option may be better than shabby execution of a great one.

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