Decision Making Tools for Group Decisions

This is Edoardo Binda Zane’s guest article.
As a project manager, you will have to make tough decisions every day.
The more time you spend in this position, the more confident you will be in making risky decisions on your own. Your job is to direct the project and your priority should be delivering results by the deadlines.
No matter how much experience you have in project management, you will still need to make a decision together as a team.
This is where the problems begin.
The complexity of your project decisions increases exponentially when you involve your team. You’re no longer the only one thinking, but you’re now one of many, and it’s up to you to coordinate them. The question isn’t about how to manage team decisions but how to manage this level of complexity.
Next: How to make better decisions
This article will provide you with some tools that can help you facilitate the process, and direct your team’s efforts in the right direction.
Bad Practices
Before we get into the details, let’s clarify one thing: inviting your team to a meeting or conference call in order to brainstorm solutions is a bad idea for two reasons.
The first is that brainstorming is counterproductive to decision-making and doesn’t work.
The second is that you assume everyone in your team knows as much about the project as you do, when in reality they may only be concerned about their work package.
If you decide to make a group decision but don’t have everyone on board, you won’t have the basis for your work and will make a poor decision.
Instead of relying on brainstorming, think about starting from further away.
The Group Decision Process
It takes 3 steps to make a group decision:
Deciding whether your team is necessary
Get everyone on the same page
Adopt decision-making tools and agree to decide
Step 1: Choosing if you need your team
The first step to making a group decision is actually determining if you really need one!
Even with the right instruments, group decisions can be difficult. I am very careful when calling for one.
My preferred method is to use tools that are specifically designed to evaluate the level of team involvement. These tools are effective and reduce bias. My favorite is the Vroom-Yetton Jago model. It is fast and sufficient detail.
Depending on how much time and effort you have, you might also consider other options.
This article will focus on group decision-making. I will not go into detail about the models. This article will help you get started.
Step 2: Get everyone on the same page
Everyone has busy lives. Your team members will also have busy lives. The more people in your team, the more difficult it is to find a time that suits everyone and allows everyone to be fully focused.
You want to make the most of that 1-2 hour time frame. You want everyone to arrive at the meeting prepared and engaged. It is up to each of you to make this happen. There are two ways to do it:
Find the root cause of your problem
Finding a solution to a problem is what makes a decision. The Ishikawa diagram is the best tool I know to help you identify the problem and then ask your team to solve it.
Ishikawa Diagram created by EdoardoBrilliant in its simplicity: branch out all the general causes or areas that could be the cause of your problem and list out specific sub-areas/sub-categories for each one.
You can go as deep as possible with subcategories. You can identify the root causes and pinpoint where you should focus your efforts to solve your problem by separating them.
Engage your team