Help Your Team Make Good Decisions


When part of a team focused on making improvements, many opportunities arise when you have to make good decisions.  Where are we going to put this equipment?  How many should we design the line for?  Who needs to be in this event?

There are many opportunities to make decisions during a three, four, or five day Rapid Improvement Event.  Here are three brief tips that you can use that will help your team make good decisions.

1.  Make the decision as early as possible in the process

Often, when you come to a roadblock or a decision is required, people respond with we’ll figure it out later.  When later comes, the pressure has mounted because time has passed and a decision needs to be made immediately.  Which leads to less than stellar decision making.

To guard against this, decide as soon as it comes up in your Rapid Improvement Events.  Or even earlier if you have a pre-meeting or pre-training.  If you know some issues need to have good decisions then discuss them before you get into a time-bound Rapid Improvement Event.

2.  Know your criteria for making a decision

Some companies use consensus.  Some companies use seniority or rank.  Some companies never make decisions.  Which kind of organization are you?

In a Rapid Improvement Event, make sure that everyone knows how decisions will be made.  Include the decision-making process in the event charter. Include a no-rank clause for the RIE team.  Regardless of one’s position in the organization, within the Rapid Improvement Event, everyone has the same rank.

You might also consider the old Newspaper headline.  If your decision was to be on the front page of the newspaper- or in everyone’s Facebook feed- would you be proud of that decision?

3.  Collect data from informed people

This isn’t the time to ask your neighbor for their input.  Chances are there are experts in your business that have seen and experienced a lot.  Seek them out for advice during your event.  If you are impacting an area of the business, go to people working in that area of the business and ask them questions.

Someone within your business or at previous companies have faced whatever decision you are facing now.  Seek them out through LinkedIn and ask their opinion.

Collect as much data from informed sources as you can quickly and then decide using whatever decision making process you have settled on as a group.

As you follow these tips, you and your companies decisions will improve and your employee engagement will grow.   Employees will have more confidence that you will “get it right” and your business growth will explode!

As always, it’s an honor to serve you and I hope this helps you and your organization get a little bit better today.

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