My previous article talked about how to make measured decisions for investment in productivity – mainly around investment in new machinery to take advantage of efficiencies or bright new opportunities.
In that article, I also mentioned the status quo. This is just as important to consider – but how do you know when the best decision is no decision?
Some key things to take into account:
- Take a moment
If the benefit is $1 more than the cost, then is this really a decision you should be making? $1 might seem an extreme example, but you get the point – if there isn’t a material benefit over the cost of investment or implementation, then it’s time to reassess. And that really means stopping and taking a moment. Re-work the numbers. Have you really considered all the benefits, AND all the costs? Have you taken into account the unseen benefits or costs? Is there something that could swing this one way or another? You are not ready to make a decision.
- Look forward
In this day and age, technology is racing forwards. Things are changing around us faster than we change our socks. Before making a decision, make sure you have looked ahead. Is there something better around the corner? Is there new tech in development that would make this investment redundant in 12 months? Do your research. Talk to colleagues and industry experts. There is the potential the option you’re considering is already ‘old’ and something new will do better. Don’t make a decision until you have taken this step to consider all your options.
- Does this fit?
You should have a clear vision of your future direction as a company and as a business. Assess and ask yourself the question – does this investment or opportunity fit with our strategic direction? If not, then why are you seriously considering it? There may be mitigating factors, it may be time to re-assess your strategic direction (PS. I can help you with that!) – but, it doesn’t mean you leap into it. You may not be in a position to make the decision yet and best plan is to stay your current course.
There is the train of thought that a slow decision (or no decision) is worse than a quick one. And in many cases, this is true. However – you can make things easy on yourself. Create a decision flow chart or a decision matrix to help clarify some of the factors I’ve mentioned quickly. There is a difference between a SLOW decision, and NO decision…
Is there a material benefit? Yes/No
Is there alternative investment options, and are we happy that this is the best one? Yes/No
Is this in line with our strategic direction? Yes/No
Does our strategic direction need to be revised? Yes/No
Simple but effective.
If you’re ready to move forward, make sure you utilize the tools I included in my previous article or drop me an email – I’d love to help you.