Smart Thinking

The Consequences Model

The Consequences Model illustrates the need for decisive and high quality decision making. It will help you stop procrastinating and maximise your impact.

THE CONSEQUENCES MODEL illustrates the necessity for prompt decision making, and the ability to make bold decisions faced with limited or ambiguous information.

Thinking: The New Science of Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, and Prediction

At project initiation when knowledge is at its lowest, the importance of strong leadership is high. Decisions made at this point have the most far-reaching impact.

The Consequences Model

Figure 1 – The Consequences Model (source: The Decision Book)

As knowledge increases and certainty increases, decisions taken will be better informed but ‘paradoxically’ of diminishing consequence.

The Decision Book: Fifty Models for Strategic Thinking (The Tschapeller and Kyogenus Collection)

The Consequences Model for Decision Makers and Architects

  1. Lead Architects must be bold decision makers and highly adept at bridging the chasm between doubt and decision
  2. To influence outcomes we must act quickly, well before the ‘Consequences of Decisions’ curve tails off
  3. We must climb the Knowledge curve as fast as we possibly can
  4. Codified Knowledge in the form of Patterns, Anti Patterns, Principles and Reference Architectures should be used to help deal with complexity and uncertainty
  5. We must embrace bold decision making rather than fear it. Deferring decisions because of fear of recrimination leads to doubt and lack of confidence
  6. We must acknowledge that making no decision, is effectively a decision to defer resolution. This is acceptable in certain circumstances but should be made explicit and communicated to those impacted
  7. We must expertly gauge risks and impacts of decision making under imperfect conditions, as a business as usual activity

Further Reading on Decision Science and Decision Making

By Steve Nimmons

Steve is a Certified European Engineer, Chartered Engineer, Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Royal Society of Arts, Linnean Society and Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He is an Electric Circle Patron of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a Liveryman and Freeman of London and serves on numerous industry panels. He is a member of Chatham House, the Royal United Services Institute and the Chartered Institute of Journalists.