Making IT Decisions

In 2011, author Bob Lewis published the book, “Leading IT: Still the toughest job in the world, Second edition.” The book tackles some of the most challenging areas to address in an IT organization. Often the problems have little to do with the technology nor the process. The issues usually have to do with the people, inside and outside of the IT organization.

Here are the takeaway lessons I picked up from reading the book.

As a leader you have five types of decision available to you:

Authoritarian – Speed: High, Buy-in-Required: Low, Cost: Low, Quality: Low, Best used: In crisis situations.

Consensus – Speed: Low, Buy-in-Required: High, Cost: High, Quality: Moderate, Best used: Big stuff with many dependencies or implications.

Consultative: Speed: Moderate, Buy-in-Required: Moderate to High, Cost: Moderate, Quality: High, Best used: Most decisions.

Delegated: Speed: Situational, Buy-in-Required: Situational, Cost: Situational, Quality: Situational, Best used: To foster “Follower-ship”.

Democratic: Speed: Low, Buy-in-Required: Moderate, Cost: Moderate, Quality: Low, Best used: Governance by nature.

No decision-making approach is universal and suitable for all situations. Effective leaders use all approaches, not just their preferences.

Regrettably, ineffective leaders have just one way to make decisions – the approach they are most comfortable with.