An average adult makes over 30,000 decisions a day. If one had to summarize a day at work, it would be something like: Decisions, Decisions, and Decisions! In fact, a manager’s competency is measured by the quality of decisions made and the outcomes achieved. The more you climb the ladder, the more decisions you will have to make, and each decision is crucial.
Businessmen like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg wear similar clothes every day so that they have one less decision to make and thereby use that mental capacity for other more important things. It is fascinating how it all finally comes down to making good decisions, and hence the reason for this blog entry.
Start With the Desired Outcomes
Making a decision is about achieving a specific outcome, so that should be a good place to start: The desired outcome; it could be about enhancing metrics like productivity or business outcomes like higher sales, or scaling the presence or solving problems like virus attacks or data leaks. Knowing where you want to go helps you focus your efforts on getting there and minimize distractions.
Rely on Data & Insights to Spot Patterns
We live in a digitally connected world where everything from watches to cars is generating volumes of data. These data sources are rich in quality and available in volumes and can be analyzed to derive valuable insights such as customer buying patterns, market behavior, employee performance drivers and cost optimization avenues, just to name a few. By utilizing these insights, the decision-making process becomes more scientific and results can be controlled more effectively.
When you analyze insights and find clear patterns, you’re closer to the realm of decision-making possibilities. It is now time to put down the detailed scenarios on paper and list the pros and cons of each scenario. This is a crucial step in the decision-making process as you actually have something to show for your effort.
The simulation of scenarios’ outcomes requires a blend of art and science. The science part can come from methods like Issue Tree, SCQA and MECE to name a few. The art part is really one’s ability to visualize the scenario and the possible outcome. This really comes from experience, business acumen, and customer understanding.
Trust Your Instincts
Intuition, Gut feeling, instinct…you can call it whatever you prefer, but it is one thing that software code will never be able to replicate. Some of the world’s greatest leaders rely on their intuition to make the final decision and they swear by it. I think it is one of those things that people use every day, but undermine when it comes to making decisions.
As professionals, our growth depends on our ability to make the decision that drives outcomes. So every minute spent honing that skill is going to make the difference between being good and being the best. Time for me to go make some decisions…Hope you enjoyed the blog!
There is not one single and perfect way to manage how you arrive at decisions, but by following the steps above, we have helped our customers successfully deliver project results, because what is a project if not a set of decisions? So if you want to make the most of your limited project resources, don’t hesitate in reaching out and scheduling a complimentary assessment of your organization.
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