Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip once said, "Informed decision-making comes from a long tradition of guessing and then blaming others for inadequate results."
Although I don't entirely agree with Adams, many organizations just don't foster good decision-making practices, which handicap project managers, project teams, and organizations. The answers to the following three questions will help your organization foster a workable decision-making process:
Who? Prior to the beginning of any project, determining who has decision-making power is step number one. Of course, on most projects there will more than likely be several decision-makers.
What? Different members of the team will probably have different decision-making responsibilities based upon their role. Identifying the scope of everyone's responsibility regarding the type of decisions they can and can't make avoids confusion and makes it possible to streamline the process. Nobody wants to "Mother, may I" every move they make, nor should the project manager or stakeholder be expected to make every decision.
How? Identifying how decisions are made and how they are shared with project team members is almost as important as the decision itself.
Regardless of your work management methods or project management tools, making project decisions is part of a project managers job. What's more, it's been said that indecision becomes decision with time.
The Chinese philosopher Confucius suggested, "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is the noblest; Second; by imitation, which is the easiest; and Third by experience, which is the bitterest."
I don't think there's anyone who has had to make decisions on a regular basis that wouldn't agree with Mr. Confucius. What are you doing to foster a good decision-making environment to make informed decisions?