Use decision analysis

DecisionsDuring a project some decisions determine the success. It is not always easy to see which decisions actually shape the project. The way to address this is by using some form of decision analysis framework. I am used to a matrix showing  “Reach” of hte decision on the horizontal and “Impact” of the decision on the vertical.

Bottom left decisions then are the easy ones that do not reach all parts of the project and the results and do not have a large impact. These decisions should be handeld in the project team, who grasp the details. These decisions are typically on the design and the deliverables.

The top right decisiosn are the ones that are recognized as strategic decisions. These decisions typically need to be addressed by leadership. These decisions are typically business goals, critical success factors and the architecture.

Project management should address the decision analysis framework for two reasons. One is to get acceptance for the top right decisions to be taken by leadership. The second reason is that this analysis takes time, mayb e in the form of workshops. It must be clear to all stakeholders, not in the least the project team itself, that this time is worth while and in fact key to the success of the project.