Decision Making On Your Project Stinks

Decisions are crucial on capital projects.

Decisions AND the decision making process impact everything about a project.






Team Morale.

Even Careers.
Project teams need decisions.  

Teams can only be effective with decisions.

Rational decisions.

High quality decisions.

Timely decisions.

Well communicated decisions.

Without decisions teams flounder and slog along.

And the project takes a big hit financially.

One aspect of decision making need some serious attention is:

Decision Authority

I’ve consulted coached leaders on hundreds of projects.

Projects ranging from $10 Million to $18 Billion Total Installed Cost.

And you know what?

On the vast majority of projects, decision authority is either...

Not clearly defined,

changing frequently

OR not defined at all.

It is not uncommon for a team member to wait for a critical decision...for weeks…

Or even months.

They assume that someone is making the decision they need.

Then, at the end of the long waiting and delay of the project, they learn that...

No one was making it.

The team member doesn’t know who has the decision making authority.

Worse yet, often, and I kid you not…

...the people who have the decision making authority don’t even know they have it!

So you have teams, sometime thousands of people, waiting for a decision and the person who needs to make the decision doesn’t even know it!

How crazy is that?

It doesn’t have to be this way.

I’m going to give you a technique for avoiding this insanity on your project.

Here’s what I want you to do right now.

Create four columns on a piece of paper or in a spreadsheet.

In the first column list the top 7 decisions that need to be made right now (or very soon) on your project.

In the next column write down the name of the person who owns that decision.

Don’t identify a group or department, I’m talking about a real person’s NAME.

In the third column write the date that decision is needed.

Now, pick up the phone and CALL each person whose name is on your list.

Notice I didn’t say to e-mail them.

I said CALL them! I want you to actually talk to the person.

You might say something like…

”Hey Sally, how’s your day going?

Is this a good time to talk? Ok, great!.

Hey, the reason I’m calling is we have this big decision… know the decision about choosing the electrical subcontractor for Phase 2 of the project.

This is a critical decision because we can’t issue the subcontract packages and keep the project on track until we select the electrical subcontractor.

I want to be sure we have provided you all the information you need to make the decision by (date decision needed).

Anything you’re missing?

(Then LISTEN to what they have to say.)

Are there any questions you need answers to?

(Then LISTEN to what they have to say.)

Anything else?

(Then LISTEN to what they have to say.)

OK, great. Thanks. I’ll get that information to you within the next 24 hours.

Please let me know if there is anything else you need.

Thanks for talking with me today. I really appreciate it.

This decision is critical for keeping the project on schedule and not adding extra costs from loss of productivity.

And we don’t want to hold you up in making the decision.”

I want you to call each person - no matter the person’s position.

You are demonstrating outstanding leadership and project management ability.

This works!

And more times than not, the person you call will be grateful that you did.

They may have questions.

Or need additional information.

Or have forgotten about the decision.

Or not been aware of the decision due date.

Or not have even known they were supposed to make the decision!

You are not only doing your team and yourself a favor by making these calls.

You are doing the decision maker a big favor too! many instances the decision maker will make the decision sooner than the deadline.

Simply because you took the leadership initiative to call them.

Now, you can put a check mark in the in fourth and final column.

That’s it for now.

Be bold and make EXTRAORDINARY things happen.


See you soon.


Hi, I'm Sally, I help leaders on capital projects and in construction companies transform their leadership ability so they can lead their team with excellence and deliver extraordinary results that other people (and often even themselves) thought were impossible. If you're ready to transform your leadership results, reach out to Sally so you can get started now.

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