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The Cost of Making Decisions

September 25, 2009 Comments off

How much does a decision cost to make? Do we know? Do we care? The time and money spent analyzing options must be considered against the overall risk of the decision. Failure to understand the risk and cost will result in less value realized for each decision.

For example, consider an investment decision of $50,000. In justifying this amount, how many hours of time should be consumed in analysis? If we assume $50/hour cost of time (for easy math), 1,000 man hours matches the entire risk of the decision. It would have been less expensive for the decision to be made blindly!

How much should we spend? I suggest a general rule as 10% of the risk. For the above example, this would be no more than 100 hours. After which it should be put to a Go/No Go decision. This reduces the true total investment to $55,000 rather than $100,000 in the example.

This practice is often described as analysis paralysis for projects and new products. But this is also important, but far less visible, in the day to day decisions in a business. How much time money do we spend talking about decisions and when should we just commit?

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Categories: IT Governance, Leadership Tags: , ,