Decision making styles


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In the age of speed, making decisions quickly is critical to project success. This presentation considers the decision making process, decision making styles, and how to focus and tailor discussions to arrive at meaningful decisions quickly.

Published in: Business, Technology

Decision making styles

  1. 1. Decision Making: Process & Style Matter1
  2. 2. Zero to the speed of light in less than four years… Joining the 21st century Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, chances are you’ve got some inkling that technology & the Internet have grown up. Technology helps us get things done There’s nothing new about biz wanting it done bigger, better, faster, but with 24/7 connectivity faster just took on lightening speed.2
  3. 3. What’s the potential for bigger, better, faster? The Upside Faster communications, Quicker results The Rub Increased opportunity for things to go south on your projects just as quickly particularly when it comes to making decisions The challenge is to make effective decisions in age of speed…3
  4. 4. So what’s on tap for our time together today…   Focus first, decisions follow: Project process & decision-making   Types of decisions   Level of decisions   Decision making process   Style matters   Tips   Closing thoughts 4
  5. 5. Focus first, decisions follow: Project process & decision-making5
  6. 6. Things to consider before diving into decision making Before meaningful decisions can be made on a project, the project framework must be established. This is the best way to ensure decision makers have enough information to make the necessary throughout the project lifecycle. 6
  7. 7. Parse the project process first Start with defining the Project Strategy •  Understand WHY it got the green light •  Commit to WHO is involved •  Clarify WHAT the project must accomplish •  Map out WHEN things will happen •  Align on WHERE the work will get done Then… Figure out the Creative Strategy •  HOW the project objectives & deliverables will be accomplished •  Best fit solutions 7
  8. 8. Sorting through decision needs Once the project groundwork is laid, the REAL fun begins! 8
  9. 9. Incoming!!! Decisions don’t have to take you out Testing Priorities Decisions never end in projects Status   Decision-making starts with the Change es approval of a project & doesn’t end Reques ts ston Mile until close-out Persona lities   The challenge is figuring out who Workflow Schedule needs to decide what, how much info they need to make the decision, and when the decision needs to be made Start with understanding what kind of decision it is…
  10. 10. Types of decisions & approach10
  11. 11. Two types of decisions Programmed   Familiar   Rules can be reused   Routine, inventory-like   Operational in nature   Past decisions guide current decisions   Low risk Non-programmed   Unique   Poorly defined & unstructured   Not routine   High organizational impact   Less rules, guidelines   High risk and errors possible
  12. 12. Rational decision making approach   Objective   Most common   Logical, sequential models – tons available & constantly used   Options generated   Pros/cons weighed   Testing
  13. 13. Intuitive decision making approach   Subjective   No obvious reason or logic   Focus on experience & inner knowledge   Feeling/sensing based   Challenging to defend   Supplement with tools, evidence, & best practice
  14. 14. Recognition primed decision making approach   Combination of rational & intuitive models   Identified by Gary Klein through studying human decision making   Believes we make 90-95% decisions through pattern recognition   Watch cues, gather evidence, mental rehearsal, try/test   More experience we have, better choices made 14
  15. 15. Decision levels to consider15
  16. 16. Not all decisions are equally Level of decision in question Complex or simple? Complex decisions have high risk to the project, organization, people, etc & can impact time, cost, and scope Important or routine? Routine is more administrative in nature and considers timing of the decision Strategic or operational? Strategic decisions typically have cross functional involvement and may bump into other projects 16
  17. 17. Time to decide: Decision-making process17
  18. 18. One step at a time (but not always in a row) McMahon identified seven basic steps to move through the decision making process with a team Step 1: Outline your goal to focus the decision Step 2: Pull your data together to help identify the most best possible solution Step 3: Brainstorm options Step 4: List pros and cons of each option Step 5: Make the decision Step 6: Take action Step 7: Learn from the process Alison’s extra… Step 8: Be iterative. Sometimes it doesn’t happen with just ONE pass.18
  19. 19. Watch out for the potholes of the mind Influencers that can skew objective decision making   Personal bias   Wishful thinking   Group think or peer pressure   Inertia – not willing to change past approach or thinking pattern even when faced with new circumstances and new information   Source credibility – bias against the person, organization, or group to which the person belongs   Wishful thinking – the need to see things in a positive light19
  20. 20. Lurking indecisiveness The power of organizational culture in indecisionWorry over performance Message: Could lose my job. Reality: Only as good as your last gig.Organizational dissonance Message: We value teamwork! Reality: Just do what we want.Risk Message: Take risks. Reality: You get one shot.Autonomy & authority Message: Make decisions. Reality: Constantly overruled.Too many choices Message: Be creative. Reality: Get it done now.20
  21. 21. Own the decision What’s a PM to do? Take the bull by the horns and… Take Charge! 21
  22. 22. Go for it – make the jump Whatever the decision need is don’t just sit there.   Assess   Organize   Consult with others   Pick your decision maker   Consider your pitch
  23. 23. Pick the right decision-maker Determine who is the best person to make the decision based on the type and impact of it. You want someone who is careful, considerate, and has the authority to act.23
  24. 24. Consider and plan for deliveryBe objectiveDraw picturesBe timely, factual, & clear that not all delivery should beconsidered equal…let’s take a look.24
  25. 25. Style matters… When it comes to delivery25
  26. 26. Consider your delivery method & recommendations From Gary A. Williams and Robert B. Miller’s article titled “Change the Way You Persuade” in the Harvard Business Review, May 2002: We have a tendency to focus on the content of the message and far less time on how the message is delivered. The focus should be on how to present the message effectively. Tailor the message to that person’s decision-making style will go a long way to getting a decision quickly. 26
  27. 27. People’s behavior makes sense to them. Variety – it takes all types… Assess the receiver preferences first. Consider the following:   What drives or influences them   Context & info they need   Timing & time needed   Medium/materials
  28. 28. Decision-making style: Followers 36% of decision-makers Make decisions based on how other trusted decisions-makers or they themselves have made similar decisions in the past. Responsible, cautious, and bargain conscious. Usually risk-averse. Focus on proven methods and testimonials. Need to see that it’s been somehow done before. 28
  29. 29. Decision-making style: Charismatic 25% of decision-makers Tends to be exuberant about a new idea or proposal. Final decision is based on balanced information, not just emotions. Captivating, enthusiastic, dominant, and talkative. Seeks out risk. Use simple, straightforward arguments and visual aids. Resist the temptation to jump on this style’s bandwagon of initial excitement. 29
  30. 30. Decision-making style: Skeptics 19% of decision-makers Highly suspicious of data that don’t fit with or challenges their worldview. Make decisions based on their gut feelings. Combative style and usually described as take-charge individuals. Demanding, disruptive, rebellious Establish as much credibility and clout as possible with this person. Get support from someone whom this decision-maker trusts before pitching the idea. 30
  31. 31. Decision-making style: Thinkers 11% of decision-makers Impressed with data. Can exhibit contradictory points of view within a single meeting. Need to cautiously work through all options before making a decision. Can be the toughest to persuade and is risk averse. Logical and academic. Have lots of data available. They need as much info as possible to make a decision. 31
  32. 32. Decision-making style: Controllers 9% of decision-makers Hate ambiguity. Focus on the pure facts and analytics of a decision because of their own fears and uncertainties. Tend to be logical, unemotional, detail oriented, and analytical. Risk averse. Don’t be too aggressive. Present the facts and details and leave it to the decision maker to work through. 32
  33. 33. Determining best fitDespite style differences people tend to use aone-size-fits-all approach when tryingget decisions made by stakeholders. Most folks tailor the message toward Thinkers and Controllers, which make up the smallest population of the five styles.33
  34. 34. Tips for moving the decision process along   Be factual & timely   Be thoughtful   Separate the people from the problem   Be clear about …what you need to share …when you need to share it …how you want to share it …the best way to share it 34
  35. 35. In conclusion   Focus first, decisions follow: Project process & decision-making   Types of decisions   Level of decisions   Decision making process   Style matters   Tips   Closing thoughts Questions???35
  36. 36. Thank you! Alison Sigmon, M.Ed, LPC, PMP asigmon@systemation.com36
  37. 37. The Accidental Creative, Todd Henry37