This strange decision making

Decision making is one of the essential processes for any human, especially for business, no matter if it’s software development or bakery. Being a decision-maker never was an easy process, not physically, but mentally. And everyone thinks that choices can be either right or wrong. But as to me, there are two more types of it – positively undefined and negatively undefined. Today I want to write about them because they are one of the hardest decisions to make & evaluate.

What are you talking about?

I assume that now you have a big question in your mind – what in hell that means? Don’t worry, I’m here to help. 

Imagine that you are making a football bet. This decision can be quickly evaluated when the football match ends. 

But what if you’re deciding, for example, to change a profitable work? In this case, you won’t be able to evaluate it easily – brings it a value or not. 

And actually, I see two main reasons for that:

  1. Such decisions don’t have an exact trigger that can tell if it was positive or negative. You exchanged one goods for another, and it becomes tough to figure out what’s better.
  2. As human beings, we always try to avoid negative feelings. That’s why we used to justify made decisions and persuade ourselves that it was the only right way, while it’s not.

It’s important to evaluate them!

So why is it so important to be able to identify them? 

As one of the key decision-makers in a software development company, except only picking the best decisions, we also need to analyse Real results it brings. 

Sometimes they can bring negative value along time, so it’s crucial to evaluate them as soon as possible and be ready to change. Otherwise, we’re under risk of not making any conclusions out of them or continuously being poisoned by them. Like Windows that was constantly improving & supporting Internet Explorer though out years. But let’s be honest, it would be better to create a Browser that really works, at a time when Google Chrome captured the market. Now they can’t fight for this slice of pie, and that what means – to be poisoned by a bad decision.

And you know what I think? In the current highly competitive world, without improving yourself or being able to understand where you are moving, success will be only a result of your luck and nothing more. But it’s more probable to become a great failure, than a tiny success.

NerdzLab insides

If we’re talking about a business, you always have to pick such decisions. At least in software development, it’s like that.

  • Should we hire a developer if we don’t have a project yet?
  • Should we take a project if it’s less than a month? 
  • Should we give a discount and capture a contract or risk with a current price? 
  • Should we give a developer an opportunity to work overtime? 

To bring specifics to this story, let me show you examples when it can bring positive and negative effects based on a Nerdzlab’s experience.

Let’s start from a negative first.

The story starts far ago, at the time when NerdzLab just started growing. We had an opportunity to capture a big project, but the client had a limited budget and zero details. Still, we decided to make a discount and estimate without all needed information, knowing that it may be a very floating value.

The team was ready to get zero financial profit but open new opportunities. What we got in the end – we extended our company and our expertise in areas we never worked before. At the same time instead of earning money, we lost them.

For a long time, I treated it as a positive experience but logically thinking it’s not. With the amount of money we lost, we could make a marketing campaign, create a Road Show or Visit several worldwide events with our own Branded place in it.

Now, after a negative experience,

let’s share a positive one.

We decided to increase our capacity of clients we can manage at the same time. And I’m not talking about Project management or team leading. I’m talking about a Delivery Manager – a person who can control project delivery, work with the sales department and become a best friend to his clients.

By wise advice, instead of hiring him, we decided to add one more partner that would share profits out of company incomes and bring the same value as other founders. The idea was that person who owns part of a company, is more reliable than those who work for it.

Only time will prove if it was a good or bad decision. Still, right now, I see that we increased the capacity of clients & opportunities we can handle at the same time without lowering quality. I would even say that quality increased compared to what it was before.

My Rules – my way

Moving forward to a solution part, I want to highlight that being a decision-maker in a company also means that you will bring new and new solutions each day. The stakes are high, so it’s essential to lower probabilities of bad ones. Therefore I created Four personal rules that help me:

  1. When you pick the choice, think about pros and cons it may bring. For example, how much resources you need to apply compared to a benefit it may bring in other areas etc. The main idea here is to bear decisions in a sharp mind and be ready for a negative impact it may bring. Or in other words, have a plan.
  2. Get advice from others. You will be surprised how many different points of view exists. Collect them, see risks & possibilities you could miss before. I suspect that NerdzLab(our software development company) keeps growing because there are three of us who make decisions.
  3. Bear in mind that your choice can be not ideal. Always control if it brings expected value & if the risk is still worth it. Along the way, other possibilities may appear that you didn’t have before. Be ready to change your decision. Understand why it happened like that and omit next time. 
  4. Be mentally stable. Business is all about risks, the higher it is, the better values you can get. If you aren’t ready to evaluate and pick the right one, but would instead select a safe one, you lose all opportunities life gives to you. And believe me, it sucks!

Everything will be Ok

I hope my words were valuable to you. Remember – it’s hard to bring decisions to live, especially those which may change everything. It’s even harder to admit that some of them may fail. But the moment of glory, when you were right is tasty as sugar. Keep doing that, and each next time decisions will be light as feathers but stronger than steel.