All entries for March 2011

March 19, 2011

The most important learning from RDM

From the RDM module the most important learning for me was that it made me aware of the fact that every decision making process and every decision has a bias. The degree of bias varies. What we can do is that we can try to reduce the bias in the decisions that we make but eliminating them is not possible. Simply being aware of this thing will help me improve my decision making as I'll question my decisions, not stick to the decisions that feel right, help me appreciate the importance of considering different perspectives and not stick to my decision just because i have made it.   

Simple tools vs complex tools

The decision tools that we used in the mini project were relatively simple. We used the decision tree, Grid analyses and Swot analyses for making the major decisions. After seeing the presentations of other people we realized that they went more in depth than us used relatively more complex tools. The feedback of our presentation was also that we analyzed the problem in a simple way.

Basically we kept things simple and didn't try using those tools which we found difficult. We used only those tools about which we felt confident. Whether it was right or wrong is what we'll explore more in depth in the PMA. What I can say now is that there are two sides of the argument. Simple tools can keep things simple and reduce bias in arriving at the decision but might miss some important details. On the other hand complex tools can explore the problem in more depth but might introduce more bias in the decision making.   

Different groups…...different decisions…...different results

All the groups presented yesterday and a lot of interesting things came out of the presentations. Different teams came up with different decisions and the recommendation for Waveriders. 3 teams decided to produce at Exmouth, 3 at Lymington and 2 to produce at both. All the teams used a different mix of tools. It was interesting to see the way that these tools were implemented by the different teams. Teams made different assumptions for the tools and the way they were implemented was also different. Same tools lead to different results.

Overall the results of the presentation closely resembled to what happens in the real world. People have different preferences, they make different assumptions and they have different ways of seeing problems. Hence the decisions that they come up with is also markedly different from each other. There is not one right answer to a problem and hence it is important to see and appreciate the perspectives of different perople. It can help a person see the problem from different angles. A person should keep his mind open to all the perspectives. By looking at different perspectives, a person can understand the problem in more depth. A better understanding of the problem can help the person revise his own decision for the better.     

March 17, 2011


In the decisions that we made as a team, I think groupthink played a role at some points. There were these times when one of our group member had a good idea but the group thought otherwise and eventually the person had to go along with the group. There was also a time when the group rejected a person's point of view at first and but after some time, and gaining more knowledge about the topic, the group realized that the person was right. Also there was one time when I thought that the idea and argument of one of our group member was very valid but I didn't speak up as the rest of the group was not in favour of that idea.

I think that groupthink plays a crucial role in the decisions that we make and it is difficult to avoid it. The groupthink can act as a major impedement in good decision making and it could devoid the group of some very good ideas and thoughts. Maybe by giving one person the responsibility to act as a mitigator in the group, some of the harmful effects of groupthink can be avoided. That person can monitor the proceedings in the meetings of the group and can make sure that the dominance of the group is not leading to the rejection of some useful and important ideas.   

March 15, 2011

Combination of qualitative and quantitative data

Some of the decision tools can be used to make decisions based on the qualitative data and some can be used to make decisions based on quantitative data. For example the decision trees can be used for the quantitative data. If the probabilities or the monetary values of the alternatives are known then this tool can make the decision making easy. On the other hand SWOT can be used for the analyses of the qualitative data.While solving the Waveriders problem our team used both the different types of tools to incorporate both the qualitative and quantitative information available to us and used it to make the final decision. The use of these tools helped us organize the whole information and made decision making easy. In organizations effective use of these tools can help them utilize the full range of information effectively. These tools can help them make robust decisions by utilizing the complete set of qualitative and quantitative information. 

March 14, 2011

Making decisions by using different tools

In dealing with the Waveriders problem, our team used a number of tools to ensure that our decision is robust. In the process of decision making we got to know that single tool can lead to a decision which might be not so reliable. By using different tools, the chances of making the best and robust decision increses a lot. If there is conflict of answers by using different tools, the decision can be analyzed again in more depth. If they complement each other then one can go ahead with decision with more confidence. As we studied in the class, humans are generally not good at decision making. Making robust decions is very important, specially in the context of organization decision making. By using a range of different tools, a robust decision can be made.

March 10, 2011

Making decisions by using the decision tree

The decision tree gives a very clear picture about the whole problem. It represents the complete problem and all the alternatives in a way that it becomes very easy to chose the appropriate course of action. It sequentially illustrates all the decisions at the different stages. The final result, in the form of monetary value or the utility, from all the combiations of actions can be seen and the decisions can be made accordingly. It reduces the difficulty in solving a complex problem which involves a lot of combinations of different actions.

I have used the decision trees previously in my bachelor's degree but at that time I found its usage a bit difficult as the manual calculations involved in solving a large decision tree was very tedious. I got to know recently about the software which solves the decision trees. It totally changed my conception of the decision trees. The claculations by hand were the most dauntig thing about them, but with the use the software, they can become extremely easy. Now all I have to do is to make the decision tree and put it in the software and it will give me the answers. I can use it in the future, with great ease, whenever I face a complex problem involving a range of different alternatives and outcomes.  

A common mistake in decision making

In the decision about which tools to use for the mini project, I initially shortlisted some of those tools, which I had used or heard about before. I gave them preference over the other tools and made the mistake which is very common in the decision making process. Just beacuse something seems easy or stands out from the rest beacuse of previous encounter, it shouldn't be given preference. All the possible alternatives need to be equally weighed. The final decision should be made by giving equal importace to all the alternatives.  

March 2011

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