Businesses face decisions all the time: Should we focus on our current lineup of products and services or should we expand into new ones? Which type of marketing campaign will yield the best return on investment for our ad spend? Which types of new hires will be the most impactful? Which software should we run? Which customer segments should we target? Which city should we choose for our new headquarters? The last one is something ecommerce giant Amazon just went through, and you can bet hours upon hours of research and meetings went into choosing—although they ultimately decided to pull the plug on their plan to open in New York City.
Whenever a company waffles on making a decision, it’s effectively leaving money on the table—so to speak. Only when decision-makers within an organization are able to get the information they need, communicate with colleagues and act in a timely manner does the bottom-line benefit.
Here are four tips for speeding up decision-making in the workplace, no matter the nature of the choices your organization makes on a regular basis.
#1: Create a Company-Wide “Common Language”
Part of the reason decisions get delayed or over-complicated is because oftentimes individuals, teams and departments have different understandings of what’s happening. But, as Harvard Business Review writes, “An organization-wide common language speeds up the making and reviewing of decisions.”
Consistency is key. If it feels like different factions of your company are a speaking different language when it comes to decision-making, it’s going to be very difficult to collaborate effectively and efficiently. The solution? Define clear-cut steps for making decisions to which all teams can refer. Creating a universal process for addressing decisions of various natures will help stakeholders get on the same page, fast.
#2: Ensure Access to Speedy Data Insights
Businesses today are moving to monetize data, part of which involves using data-driven insights to improve decision-making. But back up for a second. In order for this to work, employees need a way to get those insights.
Ad hoc reporting from a platform like ThoughtSpot allows non-technical users to query data on the spot—providing instant insights they can then factor into important decisions. This takes business intelligence (BI) out of the hands of IT and data specialists alone and empowers employees and partners to crunch their own numbers whenever they need to.
When people aren’t stuck waiting on static reports, they’re able to get the information they need when they need it. And this improved turnaround time speeds up decision-making.
#3: Create a Central Communications Hub
Besides pulling data insights, there’s also the matter of disseminating them—decisions aren’t made in a vacuum, after all. Hint: If you’re still using email chains, something is probably going to slip through the cracks sooner or later. Plus, employee frustration will be through the roof.
Faster decision-making requires a central communications hub where people can swap insights, update one another on progress and refer back to key information whenever they need. Whether you use a company portal or a task management app, make sure everyone has access and, well, actually uses it. Another upside of using the latest BI platforms like ThoughtSpot is they allow users to embed charts and dashboards directly into these workflows.
#4: Evaluate Results to Learn for the Future
Avoid closing the book on decisions you’ve already made. Evaluating the outcomes of previous decisions will help you streamline processes for future ones. If you experienced any hiccups, identify them and work to smooth them out so next time it’ll be smooth sailing.
There’s immense value to speeding up decision-making in the workplace, so consider these four tips for doing so.