BigThinking.io

The North Star : Make Smart Decisions Faster

As a person that develops technology solutions, your toughest challenges are rarely technical. Often it’s people, complex business rules, and dysfunctional behaviors that result in bloated, over-engineered solutions that ultimately fail. We often skip building a proper business foundation because it’s sexier to fail fast and fail often, but if you’re already under-capitalized, the best thing you can do is lay a proper foundation that allows you to simplify your decisions.

As you move through your roadmap, you will make many decisions along the way. Ideally, each decision demonstrates that you are advancing closer to your vision, instead of revealing an oscillating pattern (often described as taking “one step forward and several steps backward”).

Here are a few questions that will allow you to maintain advancement and to make smart decisions faster.

  • Always maintain a shared understanding of the problem. All teams should be cross-disciplinary. People that will be impacted, people that execute, and people that care deeply will have unique perspectives that allow you to avoid “siloed thinking.” Silos, particularly informational silos, compromise your ability to scale well and cost-effectively. 
  • Maintain alignment on the vision of the future state. In your business, who shapes the future? How will you maintain a shared vision of the future that you’re creating? Defining how you will measure success is a good method for ensuring alignment. What are the metrics that signal if you’re moving in the right direction?
  • Decide how YOU move from A to B. What’s your style for navigating drifting goals? How do you respond when you’re not meeting your goals? Do you increase your action (ex: hire more salespeople)? Or do you adjust the goal (decrease the sales goal to address your current capacity)? There is no perfect answer IMO, but it’s important to be aware of the consequences of each approach (ex: securing the resources to fund increased action vs. mitigating a consistent pattern of adjusting goals to meet “lowering expectations”).
  • Lead with Metrics. Always lead your team meetings with success metrics. Comparing where you are to where you were when you last met is a powerful method for keeping everyone aligned around metrics that matter.

Kishau Rogers

Kishau Rogers is the editor and founder of the bigThinking project. bigThinking is a resource and collaborative innovation center which promotes the principles of systems thinking. Our mission is to empower the next generation of innovators to think bigger, to think better, and to create solutions that make a significant impact in the areas that matter. Kishau Rogers is an award-winning entrepreneur with a deep background in Computer Science, over twenty-five years of experience in the technology industry, and more than 15 years of entrepreneurial leadership. She currently serves as the Founder & CEO of Time Study, Inc., a high-growth startup offering solutions for using machine learning, advanced natural language processing, and data science to automatically tell a story of how enterprise employees spend their time.

Subscribe

Join our community of bigThinkers! Subscribe to learn, share and receive resources to apply to wicked problems.

Instagram

Unsupported get request.

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.