Making Good Decisions

(Management & Leadership)

Outstanding Features

This course aligns decision making with the opportunities and risks we are responsible for. Providing a structured method to map process to risk and opportunity, identify gaps, and balance value with investment to guide good decisions. A decision alone is insufficient to achieve an outcome. The decision must be supported by a workable plan for implementation. The combination of analysis, decision and planning is what produces results. We rehearse the use of these tools, so that delegates leave the course capable of functioning beyond confirmation bias and group think, capable of starting from a blank sheet of paper if necessary and building functioning businesses or teams.Stephen Hawking called the 21st Century the century of complexity. How we deal with complexity will define our enterprises. Making good decisions in complex environments is beyond most of us. We must reduce complexity and increase wisdom to embrace the variables and technology amongst the ever-increasing pace of change.

Course Overview

We traditionally rely on documented justification and recognition of the outcome (confirmation bias) rather than measured decisions. Through documented justification we make the mistake of relying solely on the opinions of experienced people, instead of testing different options. It is therefore unsurprising that many common problems occur and we seem unable to learn. Even in simple situations we run the risk of confirmation bias and group think. This course introduces structure to decision making. Training and education are not the same thing. Repetition, the result of training, will not cut it in changing circumstances. Our knowledge level must be sufficient to allow us to identify new unknowns and to develop or commission models to help us understand these unknowns or our inability to accept the risk.

Target Audience

We all have to make decisions. This course is aimed at leaders and managers but is equally applicable to technical team leads. Delegates will preferably have experience of leading teams within industry and be able to share good or bad experiences to enrich the course through interaction.

You Will Learn How to

Making good decisions is about increasing wisdom and reducing complexity. In this course you will learn how to: Identify opportunities and risksAssess the current state of readinessCarry out mathematical decision analysis (for dummies)Construct a plan and carry out programme evaluation and reviewUnderstand human cognition and the factors that influence itIdentify cognitive biasUse complexity science to identify constraintsApply the theory of constraints to workflow and automationUnderstand information scienceApply different technologies to simplify decision makingApply business process engineering techniques to communicate clarity arising from good decisions


We will investigate the structure of good decisions and implementation and compare good practice to common practice. We will examine human cognition and the factors that influence it. We will study the complication that technology has wrought upon industry and establish methods to measure the value of competing ideas. We’ll consider methods to simplify decision making through the correct application of technology. We’ll follow good decision making with ensuring the decision is effectively implemented. Creating a complete strategy, plan and performance cycle is necessary to make sure big decisions and big commitments pay off and we learn as we go.

Course Details

Performance is all about making the right decisions, and correctly implementing the chosen course of action. Some decisions carry so much risk that we must learn to identify the risks and stop rather than acting. Some remaining decisions and the necessary actions are so important we are justified in studying before acting, removing unknowns or human factors. Other decisions and the relevant courses of action, in fact the majority, we trust to human judgement as less critical. Human judgement is often flawed because industry believes the status quo already produces the right decisions. This is the ultimate example of group think. Technology is therefore used not to change the way decisions are made but to facilitate more of the same. Enough independently thinking individuals must exist within an organization to ensure that more efficient courses of action are readily adopted. We will therefore discuss human cognition, what influences cognition and what leads to good and bad decisions as a result. The correct use of technology is to increase the chances of making the correct decision, and successfully completing the correct action or actions. The course will consider the growth of Information Technology to date, the promise of current technology and how to automate workflow properly, such that the outcome assists decision making rather than complicating matters. We also need to consider complexity science and the insights it provides into how order descends into chaos in times of pressure, and how to ensure we minimize complexity such that we can make accurate decisions based on a balance between the available knowledge and the complexity of the situation.Finally, we will bring this knowledge together to shape a decision making approach, followed by a sound method of ensuring the decision is implemented as intended. Humans not only have to make the decisions they have to implement them. When we are implementing our own decisions, we have all the background facts at our fingertips, but when other people are implementing our decisions we need to make sure they are thoroughly briefed and educated so they do not deviate from our intent. We also have to learn as we go such that we can revisit the decision when relevant variables have changed. More money has been lost by continuing to pursue an apparently good decision in changed circumstances than will ever be lost by stopping when necessary.

Course Length

3 Days

Course Director

Howard Thomas


Upon completion, you will receive a Worley Academy Certificate of Completion.

Course Schedule

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