Decision making is a skill we need to apply to weigh the pros and cons of alternatives and choose the best path forward. Bad decisions contribute to project risks and can put a team into firefighting mode, correcting wrong decisions after bad choices. Here are six tips to improve your project and other decision-making efforts.
- Treat decision making as a process. There are many existing processes to consider.
- Find the right number of alternatives - not too few, not too many. Three to five is usually the best.
- Remember that "do nothing" and "postpone the decision" are always alternatives.
- Don't get caught in "analysis paralysis" - set a decision deadline and don't expect perfection.
- Consider the ethical nature of your decision - "do no harm."
- Memorialize your decision in project plans (a RAID log may be the right place) and follow up for continuous improvement.
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