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Roughly Right or Precisely Wrong?

Insights on Decision Making

Why does the “roughly right” approach seem so difficult to apply in business?

Consider this common occurrence: A demand forecast, business case, or some sort of decision needs to be made. The preparation is thorough, and the methodology is sound. Inevitably, the business leader asks for additional data or a slightly different view, using the common phrase, “Let’s take this offline.” When this request is made, most people respond by delving down into more proof, back-up, and further validation. In some cases, this additional detail is needed. All too often, the opposite is the case. The request for more information is frustrating, time consuming, and costly when there is already enough information available to make a decision and to move forward

What prevents people from making the decision? Risk aversion, lack of clearly defined decision-making authority, or gaps in fundamental change management requirements. Failure to make decisions when enough information has been presented is, unfortunately, more common than a culture of making effective and timely decisions. 


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