Thursday, November 19, 2015

Team Decision Making in 4 Easy Steps

Deciding on the best course of action as a team while eliminating politics 

Key directional decisions at times can be difficult, especially when all suggestions or options will make a major difference. Your resources are few. Herein lies the challenge - how to make the best possible decision that will make the most impact.

Let’s think about a brainstorming session. There are a lot of ideas for improvement on the whiteboard. But now we have to select the best options for execution. One tool we can use that makes prioritizing much easier is something called a “Must / Want” chart.

A “Must / Want” chart pins musts against wants and assigns a score to each idea. The idea with the best score wins. And the beauty is, the score is assigned by taking everybody's voice into consideration.

Step 1. What are the Musts

For example: We have $5000.00 to apply to a marketing campaign.

A brainstorming session has generated 4 ideas, these are:

  • Campaign 1 (nurture) - Cost - $3500
  • Campaign 2 (brand awareness) - Cost - $4000
  • Campaign 3 (lead generation)- Cost - $4500
  • Campaign 4 (multi-channel) - Cost - $5500

Off the bat, campaign 4 is crossed off the list because it exceeds the cost.

Step 2. Define the Wants

The team then decides on the wants, which are:

  • Involvement of a new team member
  • Use of a specific vendor to continue to strengthen the relationship
  • Use of social media to continue to grow social footprint
  • Improve contact database field completion for a select segment

Not all of the wants can be satisfied by each of the projects on the table. Some campaigns do it better than others. And this is where the magic of the “Must / Want” chart lies. It rates importance of wants while pinning results against what is being evaluated. This will give us the best course of action, while everybody has a definite voice in the process.

Let’s continue with the example.

The team must now decide on the weights to give the wants by assigning a value with 10 being the highest. The only rule here is that there can be one 10.  We also try to avoid duplicating weight values where possible.

Step 3. Assign weights to the Wants

Because we want to move leads through the funnel we need a project that impacts lead scoring, which means that the team needs to create a form, landing page and some assets. With that in mind, the team agreed to the weights below:

Wants Weight
Let new team member lead new campaign 8
Use specific vendor 9
Leverage Social 7
Database health 10

What’s left is to decide on the campaign options that the team brainstormed on.

Step 4. Create “Must / Want” chart for evaluation and evaluate

For this part we create another chart with the campaign options on top. Here we ask each member, on a scale of 1-10, how does each campaign satisfy each want? We then average the responses and and multiply results by the weight of the want.

Wants Weight Nurture Brand awareness Lead gen
Database Health 10 Avareage: 7 Score: 70 Average: 4 Score: 40 Average: 5 Score: 50
Use Specific Vendor 9 Average: 8 Score: 72 Average: 9 Score: 81 Average: 9 Score: 81
Involvement of new team member 8 Average: 4 Score: 32 Average: 8 Score: 64 Average: 7 Score: 56
Leverage Social 7 Average: 7 Score: 49 Average: 8 Score: 56 Average: 9 Score: 63
Totals (sum of score of each campaign option) 223 241 250

In summing the totals, its determined that campaign 3 - the lead gen campaign, is the winner.

If we didn’t go through this exercise the team would have voted to execute a nurture campaign. It’s the cheapest and easiest to launch. But in going through this exercise, it’s clear that the best course of action is the lead gen campaign. The “Must / Want” chart is much more effective way of decision making then multi-voting, which is going around the table and counting votes for a specific project.

This doesn’t lend only to marketing either. You can use this anytime there are multiple options and stakeholders. This also works great when doing this in the context of family planning such as vacations or weekend projects. Try it out!

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