March 11, 2016
How to use collaborative decision making to improve business results
By: John Sanchez

Decision making is one of the most important things you do, both in business and in other areas of your life. Even when having the sole responsibility for finalizing a major decision, few people make such large decisions without collaborating with someone else. While experts agree that the quality of our decision making is a top determinant of success, it does not take an expert to recognize that fact.

Consider the budgeting process in most organizations. Typically one person, such as the CFO, is ultimately responsible for the budget, and that person is held accountable for it. But the budgeting process typically involves collaboration among many people, even multiple departments, working together to create a budget that everyone feels comfortable with. Some people’s compensation is tied directly to a budget, so this is a critically important collaboration to ensure buy-in to the budgetary goals.

Consider another example of a large multinational consumer goods company that is not happy with the capabilities of its financial reporting and analysis software. Managers have to face a tough, unavoidable decision. Though they have already made major investments in hardware, software, staff training, and other aspects of their capabilities, their financial analysis and reporting capabilities have become outdated. They need to make a decision about what to do.

In situations such as these, companies can use a structured, collaborative decision-making process to clearly state the problem, gather relevant information, analyze the options, choose an alternative, act on the choice, and follow up on the outcome. With a structured process in place, companies are better able to recognize the pros and cons of collaborative decision making and identify when it is most beneficial. In addition, companies can also avoid the problem of groupthink and utilize the collaborative decision-making method that best fits their situation.

How do you handle situations where you are given the responsibility to make the final decision? Does your company have a collaborative decision-making process in place? The Accenture Academy courses When to Use Collaborative Decision Making, Pros and Cons of Collaborative Decision Making, Groupthink and How to Avoid It, The Collaborative Decision-Making Process, and Collaborative Decision-Making Methods will provide you with specific tools to enable you to improve your collaborative decision-making skills and follow a structured, collaborative decision-making process.

About Accenture Academy

Accenture Academy offers proven, cost-effective learning solutions for a more versatile workforce and a more agile organization. We provide a flexible learning approach that helps your people be more versatile and your entire organization be more agile in the marketplace. Curriculum includes Supply Chain Management, Finance, Procurement, Analytics, Leadership & Management and Specialty Skills.


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