Perhaps the toughest decision to make as a manager when looking to embrace lean management in your organization is to decide on the best path to take. This decision becomes even more demanding as the scope of alternatives increases. A single mistake in selecting the path to follow could easily lead to the detriment of your organization, which further increases the pressure to make the right choice.
Sadly, managers might in most cases be faced with a dilemma to choose between closely related alternatives. Eventually, this results in analysis paralysis as managers take too much time to overanalyze the alternatives. The fact, however, remains that you, as a manager, still have to decide at the end of the day, and circumventing this challenge might be the toughest task you have to go through.
Here is some more information about analysis paralysis and how to overcome it:
Analysis paralysis is a situation where the maker of a decision over-analyses the alternatives to such an extent that they find it tough to make a decision, paralyzing any possible outcomes. The best analogy for this situation could be the story of the rabbit and the cat. When talking to each other, both animals revealed the alternatives they had for escaping their predators.
While the cat had only but a single option, the rabbit had multiple options for escaping. Eventually, the predators started attacking, and the cat climbed a tree. Sadly, the rabbit was caught while trying to weigh the different choices of escaping. The rabbit, in this case, represents a manager faced with multiple options.
There are typically two types of decision makers in the world – those who pick a solution that will fulfill the most needs and those that never settle until they find an option that they feel at home with. The latter tends to be the most prone to choice overload. In most cases, such individuals typically over-analyze as a mechanism to guard against failure.
What’s even worse is that the more data that is made available to the manager, the tougher it becomes to decide as it might take more time to understand it. While having a visualization board like the Kanban board is a sure way to make the decision easier, it becomes even harder to do so as the data being referred to reaches the brim of what you can handle as an individual.
Among the best ways to counter choice-overload is to filter or simplify the information that you are using to make the decision. Instead of overwhelming yourself with excessive amounts of data, compare the different alternatives you have from a granular and simplified level. You can then formulate a scoreboard to decide what alternative beats the other.
The more control you can have in the amount of information you can use, the more apparent the right decision becomes. Additionally, ensure that you compare the alternatives with the different organizational goals.
No one is ever perfect, and everyone is bound to make a mistake at one time. Unfortunately for you, a lean management decision that isn’t effective enough can result in huge losses. When deciding by yourself, the outcome is prone to cognitive bias as what you perceive as the right decision can be influenced by personal agendas. This situation can also be unconscious.
Instead of letting the analysis paralysis eat into your time, discuss the situation with other colleagues. Remember, the decision doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be the best choice at least.
Analyzing the data needed in decision making is only effective as long as it doesn’t lead to choice overload. Instead of caving in to the pressure of making a decision, you should ensure that no personal bias is leading to the analysis paralysis. Consider working in a panel when making business-altering decisions to eliminate the instances of paralysis or bias.