Working as a pre-construction professional, I evaluate projects very early in the construction process. Yet, this preliminary work is based on limited or nearly nonexistent information. Does this ever happen to you?
Details may be lacking because the pertinent information simply hasn’t developed yet. Collaboration, documentation and discovery are crucial, but all these pieces take time. Meetings need to be coordinated, and data needs to be gathered. Wouldn’t it be nice to wait for a clearer picture? Unfortunately, time seems to be in short supply. But, deadlines and missing ingredients shouldn’t hold you back from making great decisions. You can still move forward.
When information is most limited, this is when strong leadership is needed the most. Why? Because the consequences of an early decision can have the greatest impact.
Here are some tips to help you make those quick, important decisions:
1) Rely on your intuition. Our brains are wired to fill in ambiguous gaps and filter data in even when things seem chaotic, so take advantage. Though thoughtful planning is important, don’t get caught up over-analyzing information that is incomplete anyway. Go ahead, and trust your gut.
2) Be flexible. Though some decisions can have major ramifications, remember that nothing is static. Be more like a firefighter. When people need help, firefighters don’t stand around weighing pros and cons. They make a snap decision that will best accomplish the task at at hand. If the plan begins to fail, they revise the plan and move on.
3) Know the overall strategy. Before you have to make a time-sensitive decision, make it a little easier on yourself: Be familiar with the overall strategy. Making decisions within a known framework will focus efforts.
Do you have any great decision-making tips? Drop a note to add them to the list!
It’s your move. Make it a great one!