by Lou Russell

August 22, 2011

Repeating the Same Bad Project Decisions

I recently read an interesting article titled "Cognitive Bias and Group Think: The Real Threats to Decision-Making" by Carr Boyd. In the article, Mr. Boyd shares the challenge of firefighting, the challenge of all humans, to consistently orchestrate complex operations. He explains it this way: firefighter injuries and deaths are always the results of human error. Over the years, firefighters have spent great energy on reacting to these errors quickly rather than figure out a way to improve the original decision that caused the disaster.

I see this on projects as well. Many under-invest in clarifying the Project Charter, including business case, scope, project objectives, and scope. They become experts at reacting to insane levels of change once the project begins. In all honesty, the adrenaline rush of the chaos can be addictive. I'm prone to say 'insanity is just a project constraint', but if we really look at our behaviors carefully, we would all benefit from a calmer, more focused and disciplined approach to starting a project. There will always be changes as a project progresses but are we causing many of our own changes now through constant multi-tasking, lack of attention, and inadequate brain focus causing poor, short-term decisions? I am guilty as charged occasionally.

If you'd like more information about how your Behavioral Intelligence affects the quality of your decisions, especially on stressful projects, contact to learn about our assessments and workshops. Consider attending our EQ for Improved Project Decision Making 1-day workshop in Indy on September 28th.

Lou Russell

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