Decision strategies

I’m travelling to London as I do most days. I need decision strategies as delays are common place and trains are cancelled frequently. But my experience has taught me that the network tends to recover quite quickly and rather than join the hundreds of other people crowding on to other less direct services I’m better off waiting for the next direct train. I have also found that I’m better off waiting than following the advice given by the local transport management system as their priority (to get large numbers of people off their station) is different to mine (to have a seat for an uninterrupted journey so that I have time to write this blog).

I’m applying experientially derived decision strategies.

But what happens when the network recovery response is different?

Perhaps obviously, the primary decision strategies do not deliver a good outcome. I’m sat in the coffee shop regretting that I did not:

  1. Get on a much earlier but less direct train; or
  2. Stay in bed and catch up on some sleep; or
  3. Work at home to progress other projects

Is it my imagination or can I hear the station announcer intoning “We told you so” on a frequency that only I can hear!

So, what do we do when we have to reset primary decision strategies?

For example we can;

  • Seek more information
  • Ditch some of the constraints we have built experientially to open up other options
  • Change our goals (so that essentially we by-pass the decision)
  • Obtain some more radical ideas (I.e. Innovate)

This is not an exhaustive list but it’s the one I am using today.  I expect you have your own decision strategies modification process. You may not call it that or think of it in that way but I’m sure it’s there.

I did seek more information about alternative routes – and all it did was to reinforce my primary decision strategy because it told me that parts of the alternative route were flooded adding at least 45 minutes delay at the London end.

I did ditch a constraint – I changed the ‘only travel with train operator G’ to ‘travel with any train operator that is running’.

I did revise a goal – e.g. From being at my desk for 8:45 to being at my desk by 11:30

I did think about some more innovative options; take a cab, ride my motorcycle, work from home, but none of them matched the day’s goals very well.

I lost 2.25 hours of working time this morning or more positively I gained 2.25 hours of experiential decision strategy development.

What did I learn?

Actually the primary strategies were still the best in terms of result if I was able or prepared to wait and find a way to use the time productively. The modification to the primary decision strategy is to add an attribute (e.g. Reason for delay) and to add ‘flooding’ to the look up table of disrupters with an insight of ‘expect two hours plus delay’.

But I also built more knowledge about alternative routes.

I will make different decisions next time. The experience is far from wasted.

I believe that we make better decisions when we are aware that we are making them and that we have options for how we go about making them. For me this is the active part of governance that we focus on in doing Business Decision Design®.

I’m later than usual with the blog this week so there’s only time to hope you have a lovely weekend.

Link to this weeks picture


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