Running a business often means that you will be faced with situations that require you to think fast and yet think well. Business operations that call for such judgement and decisive action are made up of different situations that can get in the way of making good decisions - or help you make them.
The trick is understanding the side of the problem that you can do something about: that area where after everything’s been said, it’s your turn to get things done. There are three key areas of operations that can be hinder your ability to make crucial business decisions and identified how can you turn them around to be one of your greatest operational strengths.
Time is often one of the greatest contributors to the urgency of the decision you need to make, as well as the culprit as to why it goes wrong. It’s a resource that you don’t control; a process that you can’t halt or speed up. All these factors can work to your advantage.
How much time you have? This is essential to identify in any operation, whether it’s involved in everyday decisions or actions in a moment of a crisis. Take into account what timeframe you need to work with and plan your strategy accordingly.
How much of that time can be used? Time is a factor that is often out of your control and in crucial business decisions as a lack of foresight can result in money lost. Take into account how much time can be used by your employees, yourself and your project. Budget the time of everyone involved as much as you can, plus add 30% more. Budgeted time is one of the best ways to formulating a good decision process.
After the timeframe often comes the question of resources: what/who will be performing the task. Resources may seem tricky to manage due to the number of different specialisations, departments and people involved, but a very simple trick is to lay out the task in such a way that it naturally gravitates towards the people best suited to undertake it.
Take caution in assigning tasks to more qualified personnel. Once time has been budgeted, the question now is having all these resources work together efficiently - and merely clumping them all together is often a mistake that can occur in any operation.
Delegate and divide tasks among those who can do them well. Resources work best with tasks they’re designed for, once you’ve assigned a manager that can effectively oversee the entire construction or execution of the task at hand, you’ll have a team that can readily deal with the tasks assigned to them in an efficient and timely manner. Resources that are managed well are money well-spent and can contribute greatly to how effective your decisions will be.
Finally, processes are the final (and therefore should be most flexible) factors that can influence decision making. Processes can often determine how fast your decisions can take effect. They’re the most flexible of the factors that determine your decision making because they’re almost always the final say in how your operation proceeds.
Processes can either be shortened or lengthened, but a central idea that you need to remember is that your processes need to be as efficient as possible. This will largely rely on how well you’ve handled time and resources.
Be open and sought new information, strategies, or simply a more suitable time and place for making decisions. Processes will organically unfold their way if you’ve managed your time and resources wisely.