All 5 entries tagged Rdm

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April 16, 2012

Correct vs wrong decisions

Question Mark manIs there any correct or wrong decision?

Many could argue on that but I will share my opinion on that based on my personal experience from Robust Decision Making module.

Well a decision that is consider to be correct would be a decision that followed a process to be made and it satisfies company’s needs priorities and vision; thus the decision that is wrong doesn’t follow ay process and doesn’t satisfies the factors that mentioned. However, while trying to reach a decision, there are many ways of doing it as well as techniques to be used.

I think we can all agree that a wrong decision or insufficient decision if you like, is the decision that doesn’t line up with the overall direction of the company or/and it is not based on a logical process which has consider between alternatives etc for getting the group members into the same direction, or even is based on wrong information.

Nevertheless, I don’t know if we could agree that a correct decision is the one that helps for achieving the vision, satisfies the company’s needs etc. Because from my experience same processes and techniques could be used for reaching to a decision from two different companies that have different needs, priorities and vision. So that what robust decision making is. It is not the correct decision but the most efficient, well structured and well supported decision which includes all or the most information.

Why is that important?

It is important because if you want to work in a team for coming up to a decision you need to convince first the team members by following a logical structure (e.g. organizing your time, collecting and criticising information, analysing techniques that could be used etc.), and then you need to convince the board of directors or other member from your organization why they should listen to you and make that decision and not the other.

A practical and simple example would be: imagine two different companies the one has a culture that takes high risks (risk-lovers) in order to reach to higher yields etc. like investing companies, and one that cares more about sustainability thus doesn’t risk (risk-averse) much. If they both have to make a decision on investing in a project between two options the first company will take the riskier one with higher yields (if all the other factors are the same) and the other company the less risky even if the yields are lower. Is here any correct or wrong decision? Well you can add your opinion on that.

How can we use this in the future?

Well when you are about to come up to a decision make sure you know the direction and nature of your organization, then make sure you structure your decision process for better time management, and collect all the information that will provide you the most suitable and robust decision for your company.

March 10, 2012


So what is robust decision making?

We all made our presentations and from what I've noticed, every team made its own unique decision based on the analysis and assumptions the team members had done!

What I finally realised is that:

  • Robust decision it doesn't mean that is the best decision that can be done but a desision that it has been considered among others and found to be the best
  • Before you come up with the decision you need first to understand and analyse your problem
  • For making robust decisions you need to collect as much data as you can and try to base the decision on all data that are related to the problem and
  • You should make sure that you know what your company wants to achieve before making a decision but, also, you need to know what your priorities are

March 01, 2012

The risk of controling people's mind

I was thinking about all those decision models that we have seen in the RDM module and how difficult, and complicated could be when the problem is more complex, you have less time and when you involve more people for the decision. Moreover, how difficult is for a person to convice the group about his opinion. However, I came across with articles that say about how people could influence people or even control peoples' minds.

Mind controlSo, while reading those articles I also came across with a methodology which you can use to control peoples' mind and make them whatever you want, called "hypnosis". I found it quite interesting because it can be used for achieving the desirable results and help many people that may have psychological or other problems concerning their health; thus it can be used in psychology, medical and many other sciences in order to help people. But if the secret of hypnosis fall into the wrong hands it can be catastrophic because people get impressed from the results and they think they can do whatever they want. Also, when you use hypnosis on people without knowing it you are becoming unethical and especially if you are using it to achieve something that a person might not want. For example if you are using it for a good purpose (to cure someone) even if its unethical is not that bad if you are using it to steal someone's money for example.

There are many thing that we can discuss about how a person can influence or control other people on how to make decisions and things that the person suggests but is that beneficial? It might be beneficial from the view that you can come up to a decision faster because you might not discuss and argue a lot with your colleagues (because you have already convince them). However, is that decision going to be robust? Maybe yes but sometimes no! Because you don't leave other people to add their opinions and discuss around different options and solutions for the same problem. Also, the person that tries to convince other people about what HE thinks is better, doesn't learn more from what he already does, adds more bias to the decisions, and he doesn't evaluate different decisions and suggestions from differrent point of you! So what I suggest is "Do not use any technique that controls people".

However, do you think there are situations, apart of the health issues, that someone could use a technique like this to benefit out of it? Are there any other suggestions or comments?

February 28, 2012

Sex differences in decision making

Writing about web page

I found this article and I found it quite interesting to share with you since you are working with teams including both sexes (or at least from what I know).

From what I’ve read from a different article, men have a better perception of space while women have a better sense of analysis.

Also, this article is discussing the sex differences in problem solving while studied in adults in laboratory situations.

imagescan160q2.jpgIn brief, men perform better than women at certain spatial tasks. They seem to have an advantage in tests that require the subject to imagine rotating an object or manipulating it in some other way. Further, men exhibit more accuracy in tests of target-directed motor skills--that is, in guiding or intercepting projectiles.

On the other hand, women outperform in mathematical reasoning tests and in navigating their way through a route. They, on average, excel on tests that measure recall of words and on tests that challenge the person to find words that begin with a specific letter or fulfil some other constraint. They also tend to be better than men at rapidly identifying matching items and performing certain precision manual tasks, such as placing pegs in designated holes on a board.

An experiment showed that, although men learned the route in fewer trials and with fewer errors, women remembered more of the landmarks, such as pictures of different types of buildings, than men did. These results and others suggest that women tend to use landmarks as a strategy to orient themselves in everyday life more than men do. Other findings seemed also to point to female superiority in landmark memory.

It is important to keep in mind that some of the average sex differences in cognition vary from slight to quite large and that men and women overlap enormously on many cognitive tests that show average differences. For example, whereas women perform better than men in both verbal memory (recalling words from lists or paragraphs) and verbal fluency (finding words that begin with a specific letter), we find a large difference in memory ability but only a small disparity for the fluency tasks. On the whole, variation between men and women tends to be smaller than deviations within each sex, but very large differences between the groups do exist--in men's high level of visual-spatial targeting ability, for one.

Although it used to be thought that sex differences in problem solving did not appear until puberty, the accumulated evidence now suggests that some cognitive and skill differences are present much earlier.

So, while reading the article you will read those and some other differences or similarities among men and women.

Now, the reason that I have chosen to blog about this is because in the framework of Robust Decision Making (RDM) module we are called to solve a problem of the WaveRiders Company. Moreover, while the teams include both sexes and since you know that male and female brains differ are you going to do anything about it? Are you going to split the problem so that women can work on something which are better than men and the other way around, or are you going to maintain a balance where both sexes work on all different parts of the problem???

February 27, 2012

Reading experiment

If You Can Raed Tihs, You Msut Be Raelly Smrat

"Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteers be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.


As many of you might came across this experiment is that the human mind can read the words as a whole and not letter by letter, thus, you won't face a problem in reading the above paragraph.

Is similar to what we've seen today at Robust Decision Making (RDM) module today.

This might be also connected with some bias that some people going through when they are making decisions... For example they might go through some information without paying attention to detail, and within those information, some details might be really important.

However, whether they are important or not they should be taken into account for reducing the bias but also for making robust decisions.

What do you think about it?

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