Making Better Decisions

In today’s competitive and rapidly evolving business world, leaders and managers need to ensure that they are making the right decisions to benefit their company. And they need their teams to help accelerate decisions by surfacing data and insights necessary to arrive at decisions, execute on them, and then test and optimize.

Better decisions arise out of clear accountability, access to accurate data, and a repeatable decision-making framework. In addition, it’s a best practice for decision makers to be aware of and avoid any cognitive biases that may cloud the process. This section provides tips and tools to show managers, individual contributors, and teams how to make the right decisions even faster.

Speed Up Decision Making

Organizations with higher agility tend to have better overall business health. Many business leaders struggle with making faster decisions, despite the demand for faster execution. However, making speed a habit is achievable for departments, teams, and individual contributors if they take the time to re-evaluate their overall decision-making process, continuously make improvements, and establish transparent guidelines upfront.

When making a decision, consider who needs to contribute, identify the time and effort required, and hold teams accountable to predefined deadlines. Most importantly, tie decisions to your organization’s strategic objectives and determine which business metrics, if any, will best represent a successful decision.

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Make Data-Driven Decisions

Data-driven decisions are usually better quality than decisions that are solely based on anecdotal information. Providing your team reliable, accurate data in a centralized location that they can use as a point of reference can help support these types of decisions.

When set up correctly, business dashboards help teams make better decisions. They provide the data needed to make a decision, and they increase access and visibility into real-time information for everyone — so decisions are based on timely, accurate information.

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Use a Decision Matrix or Framework

After it is determined who needs to be engaged in the decision-making process, it’s a good rule of thumb to adopt a responsibility assignment matrix framework. RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) and OARP (Owner, Approver, Reviewer, Participant) are useful examples that aim to establish dependencies and keep everyone on the same page.

Using the abovementioned or alternative decision-making frameworks, leaders can then foster cooperative work environment built on open communication. After all, teams can use any number of decision matrices, but ultimately need to work together to achieve the best results.

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