March 17, 2012

Decision–making critique: is it possible?

In our PMA we are suppose to justify the reasons behind our team's choice of decision tools and then criticize it. As far as the first part is concerned, I found it quite easy, in terms of academically supporting the decisions of my team, although for a particular tool there was a shortage of references. What I find particularly difficult is the critique of the whole thing. How are you suppose to criticize your work? You can do it to a certain extent, but when you have devoted so many hours and days on this thing, how can you be objective in your critisism?

And that coincides with another blog that I read, talking about the decision making for every PMA. And actually this is true! All team members have ownership of the work we presented, some to a greater extent and some others to a lesser. Then how can you be sure that your critisism is based on robust decision-making process?

Thus, providing objective critisism to your work, even if you didn't like something seems really hard to me. And it's even harder when you had almost no objectives to what was presented...


- 3 comments by 3 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Hey there,
    I think it’s a good topic over here. I find it difficult to write the PMA for the same reasons, but I guess if we started exchanging our views here we would crack the problem :)
    First of all, I agree that it’s hard to criticise anything when you support it and like it. Would this mean that if one liked the whole presentation of one’s team the presentation was led by this person or did the team have the same approach, way of thinking? Why would they all think the same? Was it because of bias? Or was it due to group decision thinking like in the NASA example (I don’t agree, but I’m not gonna say it). Maybe a group meeting should be called to talk honestly about the choices and everyone should say what they really liked/disliked and why. Maybe this would give us some ideas what to write – if we had opinions of others.
    Secondly, it’s a good point that it’s going to be hard to critique parts of the presentation that your teammates prepared – we won’t have each others’ full analysis stating how they came to the conclusion, nor will we know their biases they had at the moment of writing (they probably don’t know that themselves!!!! so how do we know????).
    Thirdly, you managed to support team’s decisions with the academic references. Was every decision with no loopholes? Maybe if you looked for references of other alternatives to your decisions some arguments would be found, showing that your decision could have been different?
    On the other hand, for me it would be easy to criticise if I didn’t like something, but then we still have to make sure our arguments are strong and not biased…
    Lastly I guess that the whole PMA might be biased as it was the case with the presentation. We had a limited amount of time, tried to get data to support our decisions but since we weren’t able to carry on forever we had to find the cut-off point and to start writing to finish before Friday. With the PMA we have maybe a bit more time (but still limited and probably we will try to finish as ‘efficiently’ as possible) so I guess we won’t be able to fully justify our actions, or will we? Before even writing the PMA we will have some thought on how we’re going to write it – does it mean we’re biased already?

    P.S. All above was written under inspiration, thus it might not be very clear to readers or some sections might be contradictory. Finally, when I refered to ‘you’ it was not my intention to refer to anyone in particular.

    24 Mar 2012, 14:55

  2. Ilektra-maria Kaldi

    Firstly, thank you for your comments. Well, Martin as far as I am concerned, I realized that my PMA will be biased anyway. However, I tried to find more than one reference in order to support some points and decisions we made as a team. As you say, the assignment will be biased, like the presentation due to the time constraints and many other variants. Overall though, I think we all can try to be a bit detached from the work we did as a team, so that we are as objective as possible.

    24 Mar 2012, 17:04

  3. Oritseweyinmi Barber

    This is a very good point, I suppose we all have to embrace the fact that we cannot avoid bias when writing this PMA simply because we have an emotional connection to the work that we presented. I suppose we can only do our best by trying to employ some of the bias avoidance strategies we were thought and attempt to minimize the effect of out bias. Good Luck!

    27 Mar 2012, 11:14


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