THE CONSEQUENCES MODEL illustrates the necessity for prompt decision making, and the ability to make bold decisions faced with limited or ambiguous information.
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.
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 Consequences Model for Decision Makers and Architects
- Lead Architects must be bold decision makers and highly adept at bridging the chasm between doubt and decision
- To influence outcomes we must act quickly, well before the ‘Consequences of Decisions’ curve tails off
- We must climb the Knowledge curve as fast as we possibly can
- Codified Knowledge in the form of Patterns, Anti Patterns, Principles and Reference Architectures should be used to help deal with complexity and uncertainty
- We must embrace bold decision making rather than fear it. Deferring decisions because of fear of recrimination leads to doubt and lack of confidence
- 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
- 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
- An Introduction to Management Science: Quantitative Approaches to Decision Making
- Sprint: How to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days
- Algorithms To Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions
- Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness
- Thinking, Fast and Slow