Making long-term decisions using short-term information

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Sales teams are in a hurry to get another contract, companies are in a rush to improve top and bottom lines, architects have too much to do, and all stakeholders aren’t fully engaged. As a result, all sides make critical decisions using incomplete information, with short-term satisfaction often leading to long-term disappointment in IT AM […]

Sales teams are in a hurry to get another contract, companies are in a rush to improve top and bottom lines, architects have too much to do, and all stakeholders aren’t fully engaged. As a result, all sides make critical decisions using incomplete information, with short-term satisfaction often leading to long-term disappointment in IT AM (Application Maintenance).
This is typical rear-view window syndrome where in we base our decisions completely on short-term (typically one year) information to make decisions for the long-term (typically five years).
Following are some of the points which help in better decision making:

  • Focus on “I” more than “T” – in IT AM when we have limited data it is better to predict or forecast based on Information which is more dynamic rather than Technology which is more or less stable.  The information relates to functions like finance, supply chain, HR etc. If you don’t have enough Information, create some. Conduct small experiments to test the viability of proposed strategies and use the resulting data to guide decisions.
  • Delphi Method – this can be used to implement multi-stakeholder approaches for participative decision making from various stakeholders from sales, delivery, finance etc. List advantages and disadvantages and ask others for their perspective on which carries the heaviest weight. While weighing alternatives, think about who will support a particular idea and who will oppose it. Ask whose support you can live without, and whose backing and buy-in you absolutely need.
  • Collective Intuition – Building collective intuition that enhances the ability of a top-management team to see threats and opportunities sooner and more accurately. Stimulate the risks and conflicts to improve the quality of strategic thinking without sacrificing significant time. This will significantly help in building business models within the boundaries of the existing organization. Collective intuition helps in three key functional characteristics: integration, engagement and valuation which makes the decision making faster and effective.

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