Bias and decision making

According to a recent article by Mckinsey, only 28% of the managers they surveyed thought that their organisations generally made good decisions.

That’s a pretty scary statistic if one of the most important things we want management teams to do is to make good decisions.

The article explains some of the common causes of bias in decision and positions  behavioural economics as a way of understanding and countering our natural biases.

It amazes me how often I have people talking in training courses talking about how to cope with bad decisions and how cynical they are about the decisions made “higher up the chain”.

So I have made my own decision – I will start adding some information here that helps with making better decisions.

I will probably add some more links as Mckinsey publish more of their articles on behavioural economics.  This will help us understand the biases we have and their impact.  Similarly I will publish some more tips on arguing to help with identifying flawed and biases arguements.

But my own theory is that many people start with reasonable ideas and would make good decisions … except that they are given the wrong information to use in making the decision.  So I will also start publishing some of my own tips on how to delegate or be delegated to.

I know this sounds simple, but I continue to observe a lot of intelligent, well meaning people getting into a mess because they either don’t challenge each others’ ideas, the a scared of having their ideas challenged or they are not sure what they just got asked to do.


Talking about business analysts and agile

I am off to the Software Education conference next week to talk about the areas where I see agile projects stumbling.

You can still book a place at the conference if you are fast and can be in either Sydney or Wellington at the right time.

The theme of the conference is business analysts and how their world changes when it becomes agile.