The Art and Science
of Decision Making
A.R.Baiju, Riddhi Pandya, Sanjay Gupta, Sharad Shitole
Decision Making - Introduction
• Factors contribute to effective decision ?
• Factors helped or hindered you…
• Key Learning Experiences
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 2
Before we start with our Presentation – Here is a brief case study
A group of children were playing near two railway tracks, one still in use while the other disused. Only
one child played on the disused track, the rest on the operational track.
The train is coming, and you are just beside the track interchange. You can make the train change its
course to the disused track and save most of the kids. However, that would also mean the lone child
playing by the disused track would be sacrificed. Or would you rather let the train go its way?
Let's take a pause to think what kind of decision we could make
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 3
Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and sacrifice only one child. You might
think the same way, I guess.
We would not try to change the course of the train because we believe that the kids playing on the
operational track should have known very well that track was still in use, and that they should have
run away if they heard the train's sirens.
If the train was diverted, that lone child would definitely die because he never thought the train could
come over to that track! Moreover, that track was not in use probably because it was not safe.
Also, If the train was diverted to the track, we could put the lives of all passengers on board at stake!
While we are all aware that life is full of tough decisions that need to be made, we may not realize
that hasty decisions may not always be the right ones.
'Remember that what's right isn't always popular...
and what's popular isn't always right.'
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 4
Decision – It is the process of examining your possibilities,
options, comparing them and choosing a course of action.
Choices from two or more alternatives
Decision can be either programmed or non-programmed.
Programmed: Decisions that are simple and routine and have a pre-established
decision making plan.
Non programmed: Decisions that are new and complicated and require thought and
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 5
Successful leaders have the courage to take action while
others hesitate.” - John C. Maxwell
“Be sure you are right -- then go ahead.” - Davy Crocket
“Doing what's right isn't hard -- Knowing what's right is.” - Lyndon B. Johnson
“A decision is a judgment. It is a choice between alternatives.
It is rarely a choice between right and wrong.
It is at best a choice between “almost right” and
“probably wrong.” - Drucker
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 6
Factors effecting decision making
• Perception – “know before you make.”
• Priority – without knowing what you want there can’t be any decision made about.
• Acceptability – accept whether its hard or easy if you think your decision is correct.
• Demands – make sure that no one gets hurt by your decision.
• Style – don’t be outdated.
• Resources – make your way with what is available. don’t ask for more in the region
• Judgment – go on with the correct decision
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 7
6 C’s of decision making
• Construct a clear picture of precisely what must be decided.
• Compile a list of requirements that must be met.
• Collect information on alternatives that meet the requirements
• Compare alternatives that meet your requirements.
• Consider the WHAT MIGHT GO WRONG factor with each alternative.
• Commit to a decision and follow through with it.
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 8
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 9
Decision Making Process BACK
– Make assumptions
– Jump to conclusions
– Make uninformed decisions
– Favour one decision prior to gathering the
facts and evaluating the alternatives
– Allow only technical people to make the
– Attempt to make a decision in isolation of
– Let emotion override objectivity
– Clearly identify the decision to be made
– Involve people qualified to help in the
– Identify the context of the decision (the
– Identify all alternatives
– Assess each alternative
– Assess the risks
– Consider your “gut feel”
– Make the decision and stick to it
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 10
Dilbert on Decision Making
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 11
• What factors contribute to effective decision making in your
• Discuss a case when you had to make a decision and the factors helped
or hindered you.
• What are your key learning's from your experience?
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 12
Escalation of commitment
• the tendency to continue to commit
resources to a failing course of action
• How to deal with it
split responsibility for decisions
closely monitor decision makers
provide individuals with a graceful exit
have groups make the initial decision
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 14
What factors contribute …?
We can organise the factors affecting decision making into three major groups:
1. Perception Issues - We wanted all our staff to be convinced Our Software
Company is the best and we want to give them world class facilities.
2. Organisational Issues
1. Sustainability in Business
2. Staff Welfare
3. Reduction of cost (To remain Competitive)
4. Increase in Top line and bottom line.
5. Provide world class infrastructure and services to Staff and clients.
6. Business Expansion
3. Environmental Issues – We wanted clear Air, better infrastructure and facilities
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 15
Decisions and the factors helped or hindered you…
Name : Sanjay Gupta
Job Profile : Works as GM in Software Company
Decision Made : Moving to a new development center in Mahape (Navi Mumbai).
Factor Helped : (All perceived before moving)
1. Cost reduction (Per seat cost drastically reduced)
2. Better infrastructure.
3. Better Staff facilities like Canteen, Health Facilities, Gym, better toilets, better
conference rooms and bigger and desk space.
4. Transportation facilities for Staff.
5. Less Political interference.
6. Clean surrounding and no air pollution.
7. IT Operations are easily movable.
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 16
Factors Helped Or Hindered (All dreams shattered)
• Cost went up (Canteen, transportation, power)
• Commuting became hell – For all people travelling via train was very difficult specially for
people from Western areas
• Loss of Business - Prospective Customer were not ready to commute for meetings etc
• Lots of Power Problem – Forced to install generator
• Food issues (Expensive and less options)
• Late night Sitting was a nightmare (Staff members were dependent only on Auto to reach nearest
• Scary and less safe for lady staff members
• Medical facilities for emergency were not adequate.
• Traveling to Mumbai for meeting became a Luxury
• Lots of political interference (Much more than Mumbai) – In Mumbai Political parties only target big
people but in Navi Mumbai they target even small companies
• Lots of Air pollution (Become suffocated few days in a month due to Stone crushing dust particles)
• Travelling during rains was biggest nightmare.
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 17
Key learning's from your experience?
• Learn from Others. experiences (We could have learned from other experience of people
who had moved earlier than us)
• Be careful while taking big decisions (We could have rented a space and moved couple of
• Cost is relative (We thought of reducing the per-seat cost but end up losing on good
• Don’t throw good money after Bad Money (We realized that we have made a mistake but
continued for 2 years till sustaining became very difficult – Finally we moved back)
• Provide a convenient work place for people to work.
5/5/2014 2013 @ Siescoms (EMBA - Sem 2) 18