A Decision Tree….

I’m sure I’ve heard of one of those…..

Pat Murphy

Have you ever wondered what the team next to you are doing?  I’m sure you have and I’m certain that sometimes that team makes decisions that impact on what you do and, if I may be so bold, without perhaps keeping you in the loop.

You might indeed be guilty yourself of that “offence”. I have experienced this many times in the Pharmaceutical environment and particularly during the R&D process.

There is immense pressure on teams within the R&D space to get products to market as quickly as possible so it often happens that involving someone in the decision making process gets overlooked in favour of speed and agility.

I don’t need to go on about the impact this can have on timelines and on an organization’s effectiveness but I will say this: “the right people need to be involved in the decision making process at the right time, all the time, with the right information”.

Now let’s talk about the Decision Tree. 

I’m amazed all of the time listening to people during the building process – I’ve heard things like:

“My goodness – I didn’t know you guys did that”

“If we make that decision together, we will speed up the development cycle by weeks”

“I’m really keen to be at the table when you guys make that decision – because we just accepted whatever was thrown over the wall to us – I know we can add value to your discussion”

A decision tree provides clarity and structure to decision making when multiple function are involved.  As a team builds out the Decision Tree, mapping the key decisions at each phase of the development cycle, it is amazing to see how it all fits together.  Remember, to make the decision tree interesting and user friendly, make it as graphical and interactive as possible.

Don’t be fooled for one minute that you will only do it once – I’d say there will be 3-4 iterations – so don’t put away your pencil case and ruler after the first attempt.  You’ll need to sharpen your pencil again, because once teams start to talk, there will always be tweaks to the decision making process as teams learn the value of the thinking and approach. 

Stay away from building a decision tree that reflects the current state!

It is really important that the Decision Tree is built through the lens of what the future should look like.

The best of luck – make that difference!!