The Magic 8 Ball is not a good project management decision-making tool.
In a blog post written by John McKee for TechRepublic a while back, I stumbled upon these three decision-making techniques that have been successfully utilized by great leaders:
Trust the Marines: The US Marines have a tool they teach their officers called the 70% solution. If you have 70% of the information you need to have, 70% of the analysis you think is required, and feel 70% confident that you are right—get on with it. The Marines feel that a well-reasoned decision that is well executed has a fair chance of success, but no action has no chance of success.
Take a clue from the coaches: Coaches are always asking questions. By asking questions you will learn the good, the bad, and the ugly—helping you make the best decisions.
Trust your feelings, Luke: Sometimes your "internal barometer" helps you make decisions and take action. Of course, intuition, gut instinct, or "the Force" might not be a good way to make all your decisions, but it's often a good place to start.
The ability to make quick and informed decisions is part of what makes a good leader. After all, leaders are paid to make decisions. "Otherwise," writes McKee, "we could just populate entire organizations with lawyers presenting both sides of any case/problem to each other all day long."
Do you have any decision-making tips you'd be willing to share? Do you have project management tools that help you make good decisions?