Category Archives: Decision Analysis

Responsibility, authority, and insanity

So this is pretty basic.  But it’s huge.

Problem: You are working at a bank and have been tasked with developing a new customer care program.  You’re making good progress, and reach out one day to a colleague for their ideas.  Word of the meeting gets around, and an executive walks into your office one day, assuming you’re floundering, and tells you what to do.

Problem: Your second grader is in trouble at school.  Teachers and other parents call you on the phone, asking you to fix the problem.  You are starting to develop some good ideas and making plans.  But one day, the school principal makes the decision to move your child to a special classroom.

Problem: You work on an automobile assembly line.  Your bonus depends on the quality of the cars you help to build.  You see a problem with a welding machine which would cost $100 to fix.  But management won’t approve the repair.

What’s the common pattern here?  It’s responsibility without authority: a good recipe for insanity.

Continue reading

Published by:

Guest Post: The dirty dozen: twelve ways to fail at effective decision making

In the course of my decision analysis, analytics, and intelligence work for businesses and industry, I have identified a set of common points of failure in a typical decision engineering initiative.  These characterize the “hidden traps”, where decision makers often struggle to preserve the integrity of the Decision Engineering life cycle.

Below is the chain of those failure points. I have listed them in a sequence in which I have found them to typically occur.  Each one encompass the preceding two points in the list.

Continue reading

Published by: