Successful project managers make more effective decisions because they take the time to analyze and examine relevant information so that they can plan and prioritize elements to prevent hasty decisions. Consider this broad selection of strategies you can implement.
Successful teams establish parameters for the decision-making process by stating who should be involved and how often they need to meet to reach a decision. They assess the situation and choose an appropriate course of action after significant deliberation. Then, they communicate the decision to the those who are affected by it and take the necessary steps to implement the solution and achieve project success.
Every project manager needs to make decisions on a daily basis. Do you know your decision-making style? Here you can learn how to make better decisions by using proven tools and tips. You will also want to find out about the roles people play during the decision-making process, such as Decider, Executor, Advisor, Recipient, and Sponsor.
Group Decision Making
Making effective group decisions involves planning and organization. Avoid frustration and confusion by establishing policies and procedures for working together. Allowing project team members to voice their opinions boosts morale, empowers employees and enables more balanced decision making.
Taking a democratic approach to group decision making involves voting. Establish up front if deciding based on majority opinion really makes for a good strategy given the situation you currently face. Consider if the minority might feel neglected or disenfranchised by this decision, which may have long-term effects. Learn more about effective decision-making strategies.
When making group decisions, effective facilitators may refer the team to an expert on the subject. By consulting with a person who has more knowledge and experience than other people, you utilize the ideas of an established authority and benefit from her solutions. Find out about different methods for making decisions as a group.
Consider alternatives by brainstorming with other team members. Using creative tools and techniques, such as mind mapping, allows you to collect ideas and then sort through them in an organized manner. Once you have viable alternatives you can sort your options into categories, such as most cost effective, most innovative, and more efficient. This helps you prioritize your choices.
Consult with others to validate your strategy before implementing your solution. Taking the time to hear other perspectives and viewpoints allows you to ensure you haven’t missed any important details. For example, speak with more experienced project managers, consult stakeholders and ask for input from team members. Learn from the mistakes of others and benefit from their experiences so you don’t falter yourself.
Evaluate your situation and mindset before embarking on the decision-making process. Recognize that during emotionally-charged times, your ability to process information and think clearly make be compromised. Avoid rushing through the process so you come to a reasonable decision. Make sure that you’re in the right frame of mind to make a decision you won’t regret.
To ensure you make the best choices, be sure to identify the real problem. Determine your ultimate goal in solving the problem. Don’t waste time drawing obvious conclusions. Use the decision-making process to define a comprehensive strategy for achieving your strategic goals. Find information about the potential problems associated with team decision making.
Identify any risks with the proposed solutions before implementing anything. Eliminate any options that aren’t workable. Making a final decision after reviewing all your options works best when you’re confident you’ve selected the best possible option available.
Evaluate decisions made to identify what worked and what didn’t. Keep track of what you might do differently next time a similar problem arises. Profit from your successes by implementing these decisions on a wider scale. Learn about the characteristics of good decisions and learn how to make them yourself.
Tools and Examples
Ranking alternatives allows the group to examine all possible choices to identify the most popular and viable choices. If your group needs to establish a baseline before brainstorming other ideas, this decision-making technique helps start the group off on the right foot.
Find out how to use Six Sigma tools to make effective decisions. Learn how to create decision trees and analyze your results. Find out how to use decision trees effectively to choose viable alternatives that solve project problems.
Got a question or comment about optimal decision making? We'd love to hear your ideas about decision-making tools and techniques. We welcome your comment on any of the above articles to begin a discussion.