6 Steps to making reasonable decisions

Have you ever made a decision about a program or project that turned out to be an incorrect decision? As a program manager, we not only have to make decisions during the implementation of a project or program, but also guide our teams in making decisions.

Here is a framework to help you make decisions based on data and objective criteria. I have heard of the RICIE model in a strategic management course and found it to be really helpful for absorbing the necessary steps for making rational decisions. Here, I am proposing the RISCIE model. RISCIE has six steps:

  1. Identify the problem/opportunity:

In this stage, identify the opportunity or problem you want to solve. If it is a problem, identify the root cause of the problem. Don't mistake symptoms for problems.

Example: Team members are consistently missing deadlines. This is a symptom of poor planning, unclear requirements, or team members lacking experience.

  1. Define solution criteria:

Most of the time, we jump to solutions instead of defining the criteria for the solution. To choose the best solution, make a list of criteria that the solution must meet.

Example: Prioritize criteria: The solution must be implemented within 3 months to meet the launch date or must have a price below a certain amount.

  1. Explore solutions:

Analyze feasible solutions that match the solution criteria. Don't stop at just one solution - explore multiple solutions.

  1. Choose a prioritized course of action:

In this step, evaluate all solutions based on each criterion identified in [Step 2]. Choose the solution that meets most of the criteria. If multiple solutions meet all criteria, evaluate if it is feasible to conduct a quick trial or test of each solution. This will uncover any pros/cons of the solutions that were missed in [Step 3].

  1. Implement the prioritized course of action:

The next step is to implement the chosen solution. Ensure that any criteria for the solution identified from the outset are truly being met by the solution.

  1. Evaluate results and monitor as needed:

Finally, evaluate the results. Ensure all KPIs are being measured and operated according to the solution. Conduct a lessons learned session to improve future decision-making.