IT Best Practices

The Benefits—and Limits—of Decision Models

Decision models are growing

The increase in sophistication and access to data has made decision modeling something that many executives are very focused on—and for good reason. Decision models help make accurate predictions and ease the difficulty of making the right choice when there are many good choices available.

However, simply having decision models doesn’t necessarily mean success. As this article by Phil Rosenzweig explains, decision models must be used well in order to actually gain the benefit of having them. After sharing examples of successful decision models, he goes on to share one of the major requirements of having decision models: also having the ability to get work done:

Executives, however, are not concerned only with predicting things they cannot influence. Their primary duty—as the word execution implies—is to get things done. The task of leadership is to mobilize people to achieve a desired end. For that, leaders need to inspire their followers to reach demanding goals, perhaps even to do more than they have done before or believe is possible. Here, positive thinking matters. Holding a somewhat exaggerated level of self-confidence isn’t a dangerous bias; it often helps to stimulate higher performance.

And this is the difference: making decisions and getting work done is the point of decision models—not just predicting things that may or may not happen.

Read the full article here, which also discusses the improvement of models over time and influences (both direct and indirect) which affect the model: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/strategy/the_benefits_and_limits_of_decision_models

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