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Measure the quality of your decisions

Do you follow up past decisions in your organization? Do you have any structured processes in place to evaluate your decision making? Are you taking the time to learn from the past? If yes, are you measuring the quality of your decisions as well? If your answer is no on any of the questions, the following read will prove to be useful for you.

Decision making has many aspects to it, one of them being the philosophical or ethical one. If you for example consider the intention behind the made decision being the most essential aspect you belong to the Immanuel Kant’s school of thought whereas if you consider the outcome the only thing that matters you believe in utilitarianism.

Translating this into business terms this means either evaluating the quality of the process or the quality of the outcome. Both are in fact important and neither should be disregarded. Learning from the past is essential with regards to both.

There are five main aspects to consider when evaluating the overall quality of a decision:

1. Decision Quality

Measuring the quality of the available alternatives and information as well as the commitment and timing of the decision. Often time a decision fails due to the latter, the matter is simply decided upon after deadline. Another factor to consider is if the decision has resulted in a tradeoff in the company and personal values.

2. Situational Analysis

Some examples of a situational analysis are weather the decision involves organizational and analytical complexity. This means if there are many different stakeholders involved and if the needed data is available or not. Another example is weather the decision relates to a new area for you or if this is in fact your area of expertise.

3. Results

In this section you can measure both hard and soft values. On the one hand, evaluating the impact, urgency, or relevance of the decision and on the other hand, assess the mood or dialogue among the participants. Taking the time to do this and over time getting data on you overall results in different areas is extremely valuable to improve as a decision maker.

4. Risk Assessment

In finance it is obvious that a thorough risk assessment is key but in fact this goes beyond decisions about investment. It is always a good idea to assess the likelihood and severity of failure of a certain decision and do the relevant scenario planning to avoid the worst case.

5. Evaluating efforts vs results

A simple matrix with result in relation to efforts evaluating the success of a decision. Simply, ask your team members or the relevant people for this decision to put a post-it with their name on a flip chart with the axes result (low – high) and effort (low – high). The preferable outcome is to have a low effort with a high result. This way you get a great overview of the team´s performance.

Simply asking a few questions to yourself and the involved people with regards to these five core areas will result in a remarkably better decision making process and outcome over time. It is highly recommended to take the evaluation of decisions as a best practice in organization. Good luck with your decision making! Or will you even need luck if you learn from your mistakes?

Pick up another useful piece of Decision Making knowledge from our previous blog post: Use the full brain capacity by engaging your entire organization.

Fingertip has developed a visionary platform for making better decisions with other people and following up on them – all in the cloud. Read more on the Social Decision Making solution or try it out yourself with a 30 day free trial. Happy deciding!

Fingertip has produced a 22-page whitepaper, which gives you a comprehensive understanding of social, digital decision making and what first steps to take in your organization to start making better decisions today.

You can download the How to build your Social Decision Making business culture -whitepaper for free.

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