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Decision Rights

In Facilitation Communication People | 7 comments

How does the decision rights empowered in project management.Can organizations in PM mode create a non polluted process flow for this?

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  • Jonathan Norman
    By Jonathan Norman

    Can you expand on the question, Govind, I am not sure I understand what you are asking?

  • GOVIND RAMESH
    By GOVIND RAMESH

    I will try my best to further clarify on Decision Right. Project Managers do take decisions where they do not have any rights to take. The work team do not take decisions where it is their right. This will never work to the deliverables of the project. To give an exmaple- who has to take the Safety Decisions- workers or engineers ? The workers life is at stake and organisations think they can come with safety decisions. I did experiment at few projects by dismantling this and made what I named as ForeSight Team of Workers- who sit in the decision making of safety related issues and results were amazing. But, I do not have conclusive data or process. I was wondering are we taking decisions where we do not have any rights at the first place ?

  • Jonathan Norman
    By Jonathan Norman

    This is a very interesting issue and one that reflects the culture of the organization that is responsible for the project(s) where decisions are made. You highlight the twin dangers of decisions that are made at the wrong level or in the wrong place within the organization. Decisions that are not made by, or at the very least don't involve, the people who are most affected by the decision run the risk of being wrong decisions and, in safety critical environments, this can be dangerous (see books such as Andrew Townsend's 'Safety Can't be Measured' or Tim Marsh's 'Talking Safety). But they also tend to reinforce a culture of a passive, un-empowered workforce, when what you want to create is a dynamic, engaged team who are able to make decisions for themselves or to 'advise upwards' when they a decision falls outside of their skill or authority. Culture change is slow to happen and I understand the challenge of educating and motivating the work team to make decisions for themselves.

  • GOVIND RAMESH
    By GOVIND RAMESH

    You raised a very important point of culture. But, the Decision Right is much more. It can operate best in healthy culture but that is not sufficient criteria. I am tempted to use a new word "Decision Split"- a decision is split in the organization and creates confusion. Safety is just an example. I still feel I am conveneying in " linear thinking " on the matter. What and how it will look when the issue is dynamic and real time?

  • Dr. Thomas Grisham
    By Dr. Thomas Grisham

    Govind, depends upon the culture of the company, and the society. Hofstede ranked based on Power Distance. Countries like the US or UK for example, expect to be empowered to take decisions, and that serves as a means of motivation. Countries like Japan or Korea do not expect, nor want, to be empowered, so it may tend to demotivate. Both are now subject to moderation with Globalization. The GLOBE survey found that everyone, everywhere they measured, wanted to be more empowered. So, you must understand your specific team.

  • Jonathan Norman
    By Jonathan Norman

    I can see that national cultural traits add a further level of complication to this whole question. Worth having a look at Omar Zein's book 'Culture and Project Management' which was added to the GpmFirst collection yesterday.

  • GOVIND RAMESH
    By GOVIND RAMESH

    In project mmt the decision split is inherent among the participants. It is like feed back loop- my decisions vests on the other decisions whose assumptions are hidden to me. Found " Making Better Decisions" by Mark Mullaly a very good book on the decision split. How do we understand the culture of a new client? Do we require insight to this?

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