Decision making framework

After all, there is no tool or framework that will substitute acquired experience. The entire team must take some decisions, and some might even need to involve stakeholders and customers. Most of the day-to-day decisions, though, can be made by the product manager alone.

Novices are prone to using models that the expert knows are incomplete or irrelevant. The odds of employing the wrong models increase as the pace of environmental change increases. The Vroom-Yetton model is extremely flexible, easy to understand, can be utilized in unfamiliar situations, and can be used by employees at all levels of management. The model’s methodical process forces you to think through the details as well as the potential ramifications of your decisions. Before using the intuitive decision making model, carefully consider if you and your team are qualified to do so.

Yet no one really teaches us what it means to make consistently high-quality decisions. Lastly, if the topic reaches the bottom level, my checklist for the topic at hand is carried out. I have different checklists and criteria for different types of decisions and for different aspects around the subject, including bias reduction, risk of the subject, competition, financial shenanigans, etc. Checklists remind me of the minimum necessary steps in coming to a rational decision and they make them explicit. They not only offer the possibility of verification but also instill a kind of discipline of higher performance. When an interesting topic is identified at the observation level, I look at how the subject fits into reality through the use of mental models from multiple disciplines.

Hartnett’s consensus-oriented decision model

Letters after your name and decades in the trenches of experience are required before you can claim to know anything. In one sense there is nothing wrong with this — specialized knowledge is required to solve problems and advance our global potential. But a byproduct of this niche focus is that it narrows the ways we think we can apply our knowledge without being called a fraud. Thanks to the internet, I was no longer limited to the best teachers in my organization or university. I could find the best teachers in the world, learn their tools and frameworks, and add them to my mental toolbox. Learn the useful skill in life of spotting moral hazard by using these three mental models.

Decision making framework

One cannot efficiently apply multidisciplinary thinking without using the right models. Decisions like where to buy your coffee or what brand of a white shirt to buy are examples of the unimportant. This is not what we focus on here and these are not what the framework I’m about to introduce is intended for. It would not be possible to get out of bed in the morning if every human decision had to be made based on careful expected value calculations. Because this is true, it is also true that the role of luck varies for each of these outcomes. It, therefore, makes sense to think of every activity on which a decision will be made upon as existing somewhere on the continuum between skill and luck.

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Care ethics is rooted in relationships and in the need to listen and respond to individuals in their specific circumstances, rather than merely following rules or calculating utility. It privileges the flourishing of embodied individuals in their relationships and values interdependence, not just independence. Care ethics holds that options for resolution must account for the relationships, concerns, and feelings of all stakeholders. Although this framework takes into account a variety of human experience, it also makes it more difficult to resolve disputes, as there can often be more disagreement about virtuous traits than ethical actions. Also, because the framework looks at character, it is not particularly good at helping someone to decide what actions to take in a given situation or determine the rules that would guide one’s actions.

The key difference here is that third-party input is either unnecessary or unwanted.

During this process, you need to investigate the Benefits, Risks, Issues, Domain knowledge, and Goals of the main Subject to find an optimal Solution. BRIDGeS is a versatile framework developed by the Railsware team. The framework is the result of our constant search for a universal tool to collect, analyze, and structure complex contexts of any subject. The Decision Tree technique was first described in the 1960s as a regression tool to track back the triggering events that led to a failure. Today, the framework is applied to both decision-making and retrospective analysis of an emerged issue.

When applied to a business-related area, a decision-maker sees if all risks of the chosen option can be mitigated and at what costs. When a table is created and all options are discussed, a team makes a decision and freezes it for 24 hours. It helps to release tension, check the data again, and weigh all the consequences of a selected solution.

When a lone individual is responsible for making a decision, they may stall, worrying about the consequences of making the wrong decision. But when your organization has to scale decision-making, the formula is far more complicated and the process can take much longer. While I was at Google, Larry Page was extremely good at forcing decisions so fast that people were worried the team was about to drive the car off a cliff.

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Sometimes it takes people some time to process the decision and realize that it was the right choice after all. Decisions made in a vacuum can suffer from a lack of context as they don’t take advantage of the strengths and perspectives of an organization’s individuals. In my many years at Google, I saw Eric Schmidt use this approach to decision-making on a regular basis — probably without even thinking about it.

Sometimes through the conversation you end up adding a Column C or D because new options or ideas emerge with different or fewer risks. It starts with a basic chart, with the two (or more) options you’re deciding between at the top. Down the left-hand column, you have benefits, costs, and — uniquely — mitigations. This also makes them a useful rubric for hiring new people and assessing performance.

Decision making frameworks for making decisions as a team

To come to the right choice you need a comprehensive overview of the alternatives. You should, without any bias, come up with feasible Decision making framework alternatives for the specific choice you’re making. You can either do this alone or use a brainstorming session with your team.

Leaders can then make decisions and intervene in contextually appropriate ways. Whatever the framework you chose, remember that they serve you, not the other way around. Be smart and apply some critical thinking to each decision you make even if they were brought up from a solid framework exercise.

DACI framework

If necessary, some in-person debate between the Contributors can happen at this point. Then, with all the data and opinions at their disposal, the Approver makes the call, and the Informed are told the verdict. After a decision is made, each participant must commit support out loud. Gokul Rajaram, who heads up Caviar at Square, developed the SPADE decision-making framework with Square colleague Jeff Kolovson. The framework, which stands for Setting, People, Alternatives, Decide and Explain, has been used to make important calls, without depending on the slow crawl of consensus decision-making. The final ingredient to a “good” decision is how well you justify and communicate it to a greater team.

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