How I Streamlined My Decision-Making for Business Management
My wife agonizes over decisions big or small. Once she decides, she’s full speed ahead. Until then, agony. For all of us.
I am more of the personality who quickly assesses the data, considers the options, and moves ahead with a decision or direction. Perhaps it is conditioning from the roles I’ve had, perhaps it’s my nature. Nevertheless, decision-making is something I pay close attention to – and in the world of manufacturing operations and maintenance, I have to be ready to make decisions.
“The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
In a recent conversation with a peer, they mentioned the RAPID® decision-making tool, which uses the acronym of Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, Decide.
Straightaway, it struck a chord with something I think we all deal with. In the current realm of roles and responsibilities, I assume I am like others, where we feel like we are getting requests from every angle. As managers and leaders, we juggle multiple projects, goals, and issues. At times it can be overwhelming, which for me means I need to break things down and find order.
One area I am trying to define more clearly is commitments on dates and receiving dates when I am asked to perform a task or approach a project. The verification of a date allows me to prioritize and move projects around.
Within the RAPID® model, step 2 - Agree, does exactly that. It is the step where we acknowledge the assignment, the date, the scope, and the expectations. Just a quick definition of margins for a project ensures we are all aligned and moving together toward a goal. Also and perhaps most importantly, the “obligation to dissent” component is here emphasizing the importance to disagree in certain times of delegation.
Inevitably, to get past the Agree step, the parties need to agree on the veto and/or the strategy. Even discussing this with your team is a great way to continue to define the goals, scope, and expectations of a project.