IT Management Slideshow: The Decision-Maker's Playbook

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 09-29-2010

The Decision-Maker's Playbook

Assess your decision effectivenessIt's not only about how good your decisions are, but how fast you make them and how well they're executed.

The Decision-Maker's Playbook

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Create a decision scorecard to measure prior choices. Ask yourself:- Would you make the same decision again if you had the chance?- Did it save your organization enough money to offset the cost?- Did it leverage your company to gain advantage over competitors? - Did it expand markets/revenues in a meaningful way?

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Identify your critical decisionsFocus on those that matter most to company performance.

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Recognize decision blockades- Structural sclerosis -- your organization's structure is an obstacle.- Decision ambiguity -- no one knows who plays which role in major decisions.- Data dysfunction -- when information needed for effective decisions is missing or incorrect.- Misalligned measures -- evaluation/incentives don't translate to long-term success.

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Support your critical decisions.Define key roles to support each decision. Determine how each decision will be made and set deadlines.

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Tips for success:- Limit those who can perform "Department of No" functions.- Avoid "Consensus overdose" -- when organizations waste time getting all of those with veto power to agree. A single "no" can stall decision effectiveness.

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Eliminate "consensus overdose"Remember "the Rule of Seven" -- Any person added to a decision-making group of seven people will reduce its decision effectiveness by 10 percent.

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Use a "decision-reset" approach when progress stalls.Blown deadlines, blurred responsibilities, outcome-free meetings? It's time to redefine the "what/who/how/when" needed for decision effectiveness.

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Build an organization that decides and delivers.Align "hard" elements (structure, processes) with "soft" (culture, talent) to support critical decisions.

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Does your structure support effective decision-making?Your current information systems should give key players the data they need when they need it.

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Are your "soft" skills maximized?Make sure that the critical decision-makers are those with the skills/credibility needed to do so.

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Embed decision capabilities in everyday practices.Equip people at all levels to decide and deliver, again and again.

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Train the trainer"Pay it forward" by training those on the decision-implementation process team, so they can teach many others to do the same.

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Decide and deliver every dayMake sure the model is repeatable even as the business changes. This way, execution becomes a natural part of continuous improvement.

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