Naga Chokkanathan

Essential Questions To Ask – 02

Posted on: August 26, 2011

Essential Questions To Ask

2. Decision Making

  • Are decisions made Just-In-Time? Or Ahead of time? Or Postponed-as-much-as-possible? Which one is most likely to produce the best decisions?
  • Should I make my decisions when I am in good mood / with clear focus / relaxed time to think? Will it have an impact on the quality of decisions?
  • Some people seem to like ‘pressure’ and they claim they make better decisions ONLY under pressure, am I one of them? Does it make any sense? Should I wait till last minute to create a sense of pressure for making snap decisions?
  • Do I have a plan / clear process for making decisions? If not, Why? Can good decisions be made purely by chance? Consistently?
  • Do I understand the problem clearly, before making my decision?
  • Is it possible that the situation doesn’t need a decision?
  • Do I document my assumptions? If those assumptions change, do I understand / convey to others that my decisions are likely to change?
  • Can I recognize ‘patterns’ in the problems I face? Did I face a similar situation earlier? If yes, do I remember how I made a decision? What clicked? What didn’t? Why?
  • When looking for options for decisions (to solve a problem), Do I rely on my experience? Other Sources? Which other sources?
  • In this problem scenario, Have I done enough background research? Do I have enough data to make an intelligent decision?
  • What is the difference between “Gut Feel” Decisions and “Rational” Decisions? Which one is better? Which one suits me better? Which one would work?
  • To solve the current problem, Do I have choices? How many? Are they unique / distinct / clear choices, or just confusing thoughts? How can I clear and convert them to real “choices”?
  • Is this the complete list of “Choices”? Are there any stones unturned? Can I combine few of these and invent new solutions? Am I intelligent / qualified enough to do that?
  • Are these choices “Compare”able? What are the factors on which I can compare / analyze them one-to-one? Among these factors, which are more important than others? Why?
  • Do I prefer to make my decisions all alone? Why?
  • Do I collect information / solution options from others? Who are those “others”? Everyone around me? Or only a select few? How do I determine who can help me with a particular problem? Is it their level of experience? position? friendship with me? Reliability? What else decides this?
  • When I collect information / solution options from others, do I just keep them as support data? Or allow them to control my decision directly?
  • Involving others: does it make the entire decision making process more complex? Or less complex? What about variety? Extra pair of eyes bring “Out of the box” thinking? Or the other way? Is it a nuisance and we are better off doing it all alone?
  • Am I open to “unusual” decisions? Or Do I prefer to stick to proven solutions only? If yes, What am I missing?
  • When there are too many choices, do I freeze? How can I avoid that? Can I do more research to choose one best among those similar-looking choices?
  • When there are too little choices, or zero choices to make a decision, what do I do? How can I “harvest” decision choices?
  • Do I analyze risks associated with each decision? Should I document them? Should I prepare a plan of action regarding this?
  • After all the analysis, I may still go with a “Gut Feel” decision, but in that case, do I realize I have ignored the scientific research?
  • Do I take responsibility for all my decisions, whether scientific or gut feel?
  • Do I understand “Not taking a decision” is also a decision? Do I exercise this right enough?
  • Similarly, I can also postpone a decision, if the time / data is not right. Do I understand that this is not a weakness, unless and until it is overdone / misused?
  • Should I document my decision making process? Why? To be transparent? To setup a repeatable proccess? For others to understand the reasoning behind my decision? For me / others to follow / mimic in future?
  • Can I stop after making a decision? Or is it a continuous process? Should I observe the results and continuously update my situation-problem-solution-results database?
  • If a similar problem raises in a different situation, do I stick to my old decision, or re-analyze? Why? Can’t I template-ize decision making?
  • Do I have confidence that I am making good decisions?
  • Am I dependent on somebody else / something else to make my decisions? Am I empowered to make good decisions?
  • Do I sincerely feel that the time spent on analyzing a problem / making a right decision is worth? Does it really pay? Am I convinced that it is not a waste of time? Or, Are we better off doing some real work?
  • Do I attach too much importance to decision making tools?
  • When I am doubtful about my decision, do I go back and do further research? Or take some decision because I have come this far?
  • Do I communicate my decision clearly? Is it important? Why?


N. Chokkan …

26 08 2011


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