the course of a project, many decisions are made each day that ultimately
effect the project for good or ill. Some are small decisions with
relatively little impact, while others may have a major impact.
Some decisions are made by the project
manager with little or no input from the team. Others are more important
and require the project manager to get more information or the support of
the team. In such cases, the project manager may wish to make a group
decision with the project team.
The following guidelines can help you
determine whether to involve others in the decision and how to proceed.
Involving others in a
Involving other people in a decision offers
both advantages and disadvantages.
- Provides a broader perspective.
- Contributes more experience and ideas.
- Gets the commitment of others in the
- Must be willing to negotiate.
- May get bogged down in the size of the
- Harder to control.
- Might alienate some people.
- Can't please everyone.
- Not everyone has helpful insight or
When to involve others
It is usually best to involve other people
in a decision when—
- You need their commitment.
- You don't have the expertise.
not to involve others
It is likely not a good idea to
involve others in a decision when—
- The decision is about a trivial issue.
- The decision is about a personnel issue.
- You are unable or unwilling to
- You need a quick decision and you have
adequate expertise. (The need for speed is greater than the need for
Who to involve
Two heads are better than one only if they
disagree. Follow this adage to provide the needed diversity—
- Someone old: one who has been
around a long time.
- Someone new: one who has new
- Someone borrowed: someone from a
user or requestor group.
- Someone blue: a devil's advocate
who asks the tough questions.
When you determine to make a decision as a
team, use the following checklist.
- The leader sets the agenda.
- All team members take an active role.
- Each person listens with respect.
- Each person expresses his or her point
- The team focuses on what is best for the
- The decision is made by the group.
- Appropriate assignments, follow-up, and
evaluation are agreed upon.
Following these guidelines can help you
make better decisions that involve the project team when appropriate.
How well do you make decisions?
What ideas from this article can you
implement in your project management style?