Making decisions as a team requires a shared understanding and procedure for accomplishment. The confusion and strife that occurs because the team cannot make a decision will ruin any progress made on the work. In order for decisions to be made quickly, and the work to be completed on-time, on-budget, within quality, while the team still gets along, a known and agreed upon procedure must be used.
How to Make Decisions on Team Tasks
- You’ll be more efficient.
- Team members will be more committed to the course of action, and more willing to do the project work.
- Results will happen faster.
- Meetings will be shortened.
- You will be more beautiful, handsome, smart and rich.. results not guaranteed.
What to do:
- Determine the decision that the has to be made.
- Select and apply the most time-efficient decision-making approach that will also meet the needs for quality and acceptance.
- When using the group approach, choose the decision making tools that make the most sense for the situation.
- Resist the temptation to overuse consensus.
Checklist: Selecting a Decision-Making Approach
|Unilateral: One person makes the decision, acting alone.□ The decision needs to be made quickly.
□ The person doing the deciding has the right expertise to make a high-quality decision.
□ There is a low need for acceptance on this decision by others.
|Consultative: One person makes the decision, after consulting with others.□ There is enough time available to consult with others on the decision.
□ The right people, with the right expertise to make a high-quality decision, are being consulted.
□ It makes sense to consult others because their acceptance of this decision is required.
|Group: The entire team makes the decision together.□ There is enough time to get everyone’s perspective.
□ The team includes people with the right expertise to come to a high-quality decision.
□ It makes sense to involve everyone because the team’s acceptance of this decision is required.
While no decision making method is a guaranteed solution. Slowing down to think through the decision making approach will yield improved outcomes:
- What has to be decided?
- In what ways can I increase the cooperation & agreement?
- Am I relying too much on consensus?
- Do others care as much as I do OR as I think they do about this decision?
What do you think?
In what ways do you decide what decision making approach is appropriate? Have you ever experienced a project manager, manager who was overly reliant on consensus?