How the Companies make Decisions?

Decision making is an event which carves the future, before it has happened. This involves information gathering, weighing options, forecasting and deliberating.  Decide and Deliver: Five Steps to Breakthrough Performance in Your Organization by Marcia W. Blenko, Michael C. Mankins and Paul Rogers explores tools to successful decision making. According to this book incompetent decision making doesn’t remain a personal problem, but it rolls into a corporate liability. This book bundles all the areas quintessential to the decision making and creating a mark on the ultimate reality of business success. This book explores different cases at Ford, Telstra and many other companies which required bringing in huge changes creating multi-dimensional impact.

There are five steps mentioned that begins with assessing the decision effectiveness and how the organization supports it. Identify the critical decisions. Set individual critical decisions up for success. Build an integrated organization system which enables great decision making and execution throughout. Embed the changes in everyday practices. Let us explore the merits of these points through a business issue in real-time environment. A technological firm needs to change its payroll system from a human based process to an electronic one. This may occur due to the many folded expansion of the business. Due diligence of the existing system, to the new requirement, would help the organization choose a solution. The process can be outsourced with service level agreement in an alignment of the growing business need. There lie many challenges to this decision including errors in salary calculation, mishandling in the data management, mismanagement in disbursement and etc. The decision makers can implement the five steps mentioned in the book to realize the goal. Firstly, the due diligence would include assessing the decision effectiveness. Next, the leaders would identify the critical decisions in this change. They would have to decide on whether it would be an internal process or outsourced. Consider options, if there is any software to be bought which can integrate the existing system and run it better.  Setting individual decision up for success would be through capability management. They further need to assess the capability of the infrastructure and the talent, within the organization. Decide if they would require hiring fresh talent to support the change and the new system further. The measures of success for each individual connected to this project would require to be quantified. Once identified, they need to integrate the support system such as IT and admin which would enable HR in this decision making and execution through the escalations and the operational loop holes. There would be gaps in data sharing which is why the salaries may not be disbursed accurately. The IT department must support with the right software to map existing data into the new system. In case there are queries and complaints, Admin team may help HR with setting up a help desk. The new system chosen can be run parallel with the old system for a month or a quarter to detect the errors in transition and maintain zero tolerance to it. During this pilot phase the old system would support the new with the existing advantage providing continuity. Finally the change brought in within the company to scale up effectiveness in the payroll system and can be embed in every day practise through timely accurate salary disbursement, one click solution to every payroll related concern and better adherence to the SLA.

The challenges to these five steps would be structure dependence. Often decision making is based on structure. The front end executive may recommend ideas from daily delivery and customer experience, to make their service or product better. It would permeate too many levels before it reaches the decision maker. This may not happen in every organization. Consequently the decision maker may lack the prime information. Let us consider the example we cited earlier, the company which was transitioning its payroll system from the human-based process to an electronic-based process. The end result i.e. adherence to better SLA may remain the focus. Yet the end user experience which had the advantage of human interface earlier may get ignored by the decision maker. This information will make a bull-whip effect on the line HR with increasing salary related complaint. Hence a suggestion by the line HR to keep a human interface additionally with the software may evade the problem.

Finally, the tools from this book would help in triggering faster decision making process with greater achievement of results. As commented on this book by Garamond agency “The key is to create a decision-driven organizational environment, in which the pieces all fit together to help people throughout the organization make good decisions and make them happen, quickly”



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