It is important in both project management and life in general to have a solid decision-making process. This doesn’t mean that every decision you make will always have the best outcomes, but it puts the odds in your favor that more often than not you will make good decisions.
Here are the main consequences when you don’t use a good decision-making process:
- Regret – You know you are not using a good process if you find yourself saying “I should have…” or “I shouldn’t have”. If you use a good process, you understand that sometimes the outcomes don’t go your way, mostly due to circumstances beyond your control. You avoid regret. Wouldn’t it be great to live a life of no regrets? Or like in the song “My Way”, you can say “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but too few to mention”.
- Unintended Consequences – This usually happens when a decision is not well thought out. You intentions are good but it turns out bad. An example is “use it or lose it” budget policies. This almost always causes organizations to waste money to avoid future budget cuts. Sometimes, a decision can be so complex as to be unable to avoid unintended consequences. In a future post in this series, I will show how good Risk Management can minimize the damage.
When you have a good decision-making process you don’t measure success by the outcomes, you measure it by answering the question “Was my process sound?”. I will expand on this in a future post.