Making decisions just one little one at a time…

So having discussed how AGILE project management could be adapted easily for any situation and used in all sizes of businesses it got me thinking. Project management is all about decision making – what to prioritise, what to do and how to do it. But the thing is decision making can be something that we put off and also that we hope others will do for us so that we don’t have to make ‘the decision’ and in some cases any decision.

We make tiny decisions every day over lots of things but there’s something that changes our thinking about decisions when it comes to larger decisions, ones that might have an impact on others – especially a perceived negative decision. But what’s often happening is the underlying thinking of what if it’s not the right decision. But is that ego or true logical evaluation?

I guess in the AGILE methodology and also in LEAN because things are broken down into much smaller parts and in LEAN there’s an encouragement to get it wrong then few decisions are truly irrevocable. And as leaders it is up to us to stand up to the plate and make the decisions but at the same time show that we have the courage to do so and take the others with us. Being AGILE in decision making means that you can change course more easily and the same is true of LEAN but its about finding out early on the things that work and the things that don’t.

So how can making smaller decisions benefit our business?

  • Providing there’s a plan, a vision and known outcome then breaking things down into bite size chunks where we’re only considering one particular chunk at a time means we can concentrate on getting it right and asking the questions about this and only this and not getting overwhelmed by the much bigger picture.
  • It’s easier for the team too; they’re just as likely to get overwhelmed if there’s a really ‘big’ thing to think about. Just like eating the whole elephant but only one bite at a time.
  • And not worrying about something that seems to be an enormous behemoth does quite simply as Seth Godin recently said “Clear our cache of worry as it’ll free up our processors to focus on the useful stuff”.
  • Having something that’s smaller to think about means that we all see the goal as more attainable and that makes a massive difference in how we feel and how we think.
  • And if it’s a smaller chunk then its easier to take risks as the impact is so much smaller and you and I both know that taking risks is very often where the magic happens.
So how about it… stop worrying about the big stuff and concentrate on the smaller chunks, one at a time…