The Art of Decision Making – Part 7: Implement

This article continues the discussion from Product Anonymous back in June last year.  Full credit goes to the team and the attendees for providing key steps, insight and critical analysis.

In the last set of posts we defined the problem (topic and people), identified some alternatives, evaluated those alternatives, and then deciding.  Step #5 in the process is to implement that decision.

Ok.  We have made our decision.  Woohoo!

Now what?

Surely everyone will just crack on with it?

Communicate the decision so that it can be implemented.

And this might mean communicating well beyond the immediate team tasked with the implementation.  There are usually some impacted teams that you haven’t considered out there that need to be informed.  So back to the RACI model and consider the ‘Informed’ folk.

You may need to use your influence to get help from other people to implement it. There may be some resistance, but with a well reasoned decision process then you should have no trouble getting commitment and support from everyone.  You are going to need them to be ‘all in’ so they can run with the new decision.

Use the momentum

There will now be some momentum behind the decision as you have already involved a bunch of stakeholders.  Get the stakeholders to help implement and promote the decision.  Get them involved in the next decision that is the natural progression of the current.  Keep that momentum going.

Kill the alternatives

Depending on your culture, it may be necessary to kill the other alternatives. Because of the decision making process there may be doubt about whether the final solution is the best solution.

It is possible for a company to continue using resources on the unchosen option in the name of ‘risk mitigation’, ‘creating a plan B’, or ‘I disagree so I’ll do it my way’. It may be necessary to prevent each of the alternatives from being implemented just to prevent the waste of resources.

Alexander the Great may have burned his boats upon arrival on the shores of Persia as a sign of commitment.  While you may not have to be as extreme, you don’t want to waste resources on options that may never bear fruit.

The plan is the plan until there is a new plan.

We have now implemented our decision, but it is still not over.  Perhaps there is some iteration or learning ahead.  Next we’ll look at what we can learn.

Have you got any other tools to help you make decisions? Please feel free to comment below to add to the discussion.

Go back to Part 6: Decision time.

Steve is a Product Development Manager at Telstra Wholesale.  The views expressed in this post are his only and do not necessarily reflect the views of Telstra.



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