A new engineering profession is emerging: decision coach

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A new engineering profession is emerging: decision coach

  1. 1. A new profession is emerging: Decision Coach INFORMS Analytics Conference April 15 -17, 2012 Huntington Beach, California Stephen Barrager, Ph.D. Baker Street Publishing, LLC steve@bakerstreetpublishing.com
  2. 2. I started my career in aerospace and computers. Second job - IBM360First job - Apollo. That’s me -- to the right of the analog computers. © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. Third job - Lead Teaching Assistant for Professor Howard’s probability and decision analysis courses at Stanford.Professor Howard Graduate Student Barrager © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. I hope you learn the following thingstoday: • A new profession is emerging: decision coaching • There is a core knowledge set required for strategic decision making: process, systems analysis, and applied probability. • In addition, decision coaches must master facilitation skills, project management, and organizational learning. © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. Success in any enterprise consists ofdoing three basic things well. Strategic Decision making is only one of the Leadership Decision tasks of an executive. It usually takes but a small fraction of his Making time. But to make decisions is the specific executive task. Pe t e r D r u c ke r, T h e E f f e c t i ve Manager 1966 Operational Management There is a lot to be gained if we can improve strategic decision (execution) making. © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. A McKinsey survey of 2,327 executives from the full range ofindustries, regions and functions revealed the followinggoals of strategic decision making. (In percentage of totaldecisions.) Expansion into new products, services or geographies 34 Investment in existing products, services or geographies 15 Building new infrastructure 12 Mergers and acquisitions 11 Maintenance of existing infrastructure 5 Organizational change for other reasons 21 From “How companies make good decisions,” The McKinsey Quarterly, December 2008 © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  7. 7. Generally there are 3 groups involved in importantstrategic decisions: decision makers, stakeholders, andexperts. Decision Makers Act Stakeholders Experts © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  8. 8. Scene from Moneyball, Columbia Pictures © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  9. 9. What is missing? Facilitation? Process? Tools? Decision Makers Stakeholders Act ProjectManagement? Experts Knowledge Management and training? © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  10. 10. Who is missing? Decision Makers Stakeholders Act Experts ? © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  11. 11. A decision coach brings several things to the table. ProjectProcess Tools Facilitation Management Knowledge Management and Training © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  12. 12. “If you can’t describe what you are doing asa process, you don’t know what you aredoing.” W. Edwards Deming © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  13. 13. Two processes are fundamental. The Decision AnalysisProcess and the Collaborative Design Process. Decision Deterministic Appraisal Modeling and Probability framing and and value of sensitivity assessment basis Information development analysis and calculationsSituation calculation 1 2 A B C Act 3 4 5 Decision Systems Probability Value of Theory Analysis Theory information Decision Makers Stakeholders and Experts Framing Alternative Generation Analysis Synthesis Act Stakeholders and experts © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  14. 14. The Decision Analysis Process combines thepower of: Systems Probability Analysis Theory Decision Theory in a normative way. © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  15. 15. The Collaborative Design Process brings in thepeople. Decision Makers Alternative Act Framing Analysis Stakeholders and Experts Generation Synthesis StakeholdersCoach Experts © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  16. 16. The Collaborative Design Process emphasizesframing and design. Systems Probability Analysis Theory Decision Framing Theory DesignDecision Analysis is the analytical backbone of the Collaborative Design Process. © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  17. 17. Inappropriate framing is the root cause of most baddecisions. Here
  18. 18.  it
  19. 19.  is! Find x. x 3 cm 4 cm Too often we get the right answer to the wrong question. © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  20. 20. Design is the intersection of analysis andsynthesis. We want this intersection to bebig. Design Alternative Analysis FramingStakeholders and Experts Generation Synthesis Steve Jobs called synthesis, “Connecting the dots.” © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  21. 21. ProjectProcess Tools Facilitation Management Knowledge Management and Training © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  22. 22. A decision coach brings a bag full of tools. Policy Decision and Framing hierarchies --- Which decisions are we working on? How do they fit with other decisions? What Strategy are the givens. Tactics Strategy tables --- How do alternative strategies differ? Do they cover the range of possibilities? Competition High Sport Market Size Pricing Strategy Decision Diagrams --- What issues are relevant to the strategy? Performance Styling How do issues influence each other? Net Present Market Share Comfort and ConvenienceStrategy Value Quality Warranty Costs Investment Unit Costs A B C 1 2 Dynamic System Simulation and Optimization Models --- 3 Have we captured the complexities and dynamics logically? 4 5 Sensitivity Analysis --- What are the important uncertainties? Where should we focus our attention? Probability assessment techniques --- How do we express what we don’t know? How do we deal with cognitive biases? Bayesian updating of information --- How do probabilities change as we learn more? What is the value of better information? © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  23. 23. A business enterprise is a complex system. Systemsmodeling is the best tool we have for understanding it. Customer Relationships Key Activities Cus tom Key er S Resources egm ents Key nels ns n Cha os e itio op lu Partners Pr Va Cost Revenue Structure Streams Diagram adapted from: “Business Model Generation,” by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigeur, Wiley 2010 © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  24. 24. Computer-based, mathematical models are the key tocutting through complexity and dynamics. In the mid-1980’s Herb Simon* gave a lecture at Stanford University. He discussed the slow, but unrelenting march of critical thinking about complex social problems. Toward the end of his talk he stated that he thought the computer-based, mathematical model was perhaps the greatest invention of all time. I was a bit taken back. I was expecting him to suggest something like the microprocessor, not esoteric computer models like those I was building. He went on to explain that these models were so important because they offered the first opportunity for groups of people to think collectively about very complicated problems. Individuals can model parts of the problem and then combine their knowledge with that of other people in a logically consistent way. Mankind has never had this capability. When used properly, these models are like meta neural networks. They combine the thinking of many brains. They capture the thinking in a way that can be shared and refined by many people spread out over the globe. *Herb Simon was the first winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  25. 25. ProjectProcess Tools Facilitation Management Knowledge Management and Training © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  26. 26. There are 3 well known barriers to gooddecision making: • Cognitive biases, e.g., anchoring and availability • The confirmation bias • Organizational defenses © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  27. 27. Overcoming the confirmation bias is a big challenge ingroup decision making. We tend to hear only those things that are consistent with our prior experience and beliefs. From: The Complete Far Side, Gary Larson © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  28. 28. Organizational defenses are pervasive. What do we do if there is a warthog in the room and no-one wants to talk about it? What if the warthog is the boss? © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  29. 29. The Mutual Learning Model is normative. We say this ishow we should think and behave. Results •Increased understanding •More informed decisions •High commitment to action Your Purpose •Mutual learning •Better working relationships •Valid information •Informed choice •Internal commitment Acting Framing •State thinking behind own view •How you see yourself •Inquire into other’s views -What I see is one perspective •Make dilemmas discussible -I may be missing something •Express and reflect on emotion •How you see others •Design ways to test merits of -Acting sensibly in own mind differing views -Caught in a dilemma Source: Action Design. Adapted from Chris Argyris Donald Schön © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  30. 30. Facilitation ProjectProcess Tools Skills Management Knowledge Management and Training © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  31. 31. Coaches can fill the project management role. People and Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Phas e Organization Alternative Generation Analysi s ynthes S is Implemen Money tation Schedule Project Management Plan Decision Makers Alternative Analysis A Framing Synthesis A B C Generation 1 2 Stakeholders and experts 3 4 5 Tools Process © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  32. 32. Facilitation ProjectProcess Tools Skills Management Knowledge Management and Training © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  33. 33. Organizations need a memory. “When important decisions are not documented, one becomes dependent on individual memory, which is quickly lost as people leave or move to other jobs. In my work, it is important to be able to go back a number of years to determine the facts that were considered in arriving at a decision. This makes it easier to resolve new problems by putting them into proper perspective. It also minimizes the risk of repeating past mistakes. Moreover, if important communications and actions are not documented clearly, one can never be sure they were understood or even executed.” From Doing a Job, by Admiral Hyman G. Rickover © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  34. 34. Someone needs to be responsible for knowledgemanagement and organizational learning. This is anatural role for the decision coach. Act Roster Best Practices d Learne Lessons s l failure Successfu Act Act Act Act © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  35. 35. A decision coach brings several things to the table. Facilitation ProjectProcess Tools Skills Management Knowledge Management and Training © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  36. 36. We need more qualified coaches. Where are they goingto come from? Management Skill MBA OR Science and Engineering Process Decision Analysis ☀ ☀ ☀ Collaborative Design ? ? ? Tools Core Skills Framing ☀ Systems Analysis ☀ ☀ Applied probability ☀ ☀ Facilitation ☀ Project Management ☀ ☀ Organizational Learning ☀ © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  37. 37. In summary, • A new profession is emerging: decision coaching • There is a core knowledge set required for strategic decision making: process, systems analysis, and applied probability. • In addition, decision coaches must master facilitation skills, project management, and organizational learning.Odds are good that more engineers will become decisioncoaches and ultimately move into executive positions. Thiswill lead to major, sustained improvements in public andprivate decision making. © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
  38. 38. The Baker Street mission is to supply decision coaches withthe things that they need to be successful. For moreinformation see the following:• Coach’s Guide to Framing, slide deck, PDF http://bakerstreetpublishing.com/publications/framing-strategic-decisions-an-overview/• Coach’s Guide to the Decision Analysis Process, slide deck, PDF http://bakerstreetpublishing.com/publications/coachs-guide-to-the-decision-analysis-process/• Coach’s Guide to the Collaborative Design Process, slide deck, PDF http://bakerstreetpublishing.com/publications/coachs-guide-to-the-collaborative-design-process/• Coach’s Guide to Mutual Learning, forthcoming, enhanced e-book for the iPad.• Baker Street Publishing Blog http://bakerstreetpublishing.com/blog/• Speaking of Decisions: Precise Decision Language, Ron Howard, INFORMS, Onlinehttp://da.journal.informs.org/content/1/2/71.abstract © 2012 Baker Street Publishing, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.

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