Fri, 19 Apr 2024 Feature Article

The Smart Decision Toolkit Advantages on Strategy, Policy, System, Process and Product Design, Implementation and Audits

Brian KazunguBrian Kazungu

Every mission pursued by an individual or an organization must usually be undertaken after an idea has been considered, a decision has been made and a certain action has to be taken towards the attainment of a predetermined objective that has a positive outcome.

However, despite good intentions, not all outcomes become positive mostly because of the flaws in the decision-making process as some people tend to overlook important factors which are supposed to be considered when deliberating on a subject that needs attention.

For example, a government adopts a certain wasteful policy, a company subscribes to a certain costly operational approach, or an individual acts out of excitement rather than enlightenment at the expense of stakeholders when there is no decision-making framework in place.

As such, in order to solve this problem, I came up with the Smart Decision Toolkit which uses the Fundamental Congruence Checklist which is basically a set of ten questions that helps you to process information about a certain subject in order for you to understand it better.

A Fundamental Congruence Checklist seeks to answer critical questions that are important for analysing information towards making informed decisions and taking the right action.

It is a multi-versatile decision-making tool that can be used to gauge the relevance, effectiveness, and impact of anything in life through answering the following ten questions:

  1. What is this thing? Who is this person?
  2. What does he/she/it do and how? – What are the key result areas or objectives and how are they accomplished?
  3. Why does he/she/it do so? – Why are those the key result areas, objective, or purpose?
  4. What happens if he/she/it does do not anything or does not perform as expected?
  5. Where is this thing or person situated in the whole matrix – what position does he/she/it occupy?
  6. Why is he/she/it situated there? – Why is he/she/it occupying that space?
  7. What happens if he/she/it is completely removed, moved somewhere, misplaced or even altered?
  8. Who is in charge of him/her/it and why? – Who makes he/she/it work as planned?
  9. How is his/her/its effectiveness assessed? - How do I or other people know if he/she/it is effective or not?
  10. What happens if he/she/it is effective or not – What are the related consequences?

By using a Congruence Checklist, you will be able to clearly define the purpose of anything and then determine its relevance and interconnectedness to other things which are dear to you in life before you commit your energy, time, and resources to it.

When you don’t ask yourself these ten questions, you are most likely to make impulsive decisions out of emotions (excitement) and do things that are very costly and regrettable.

The ten questions in the Congruence Checklist gives you a broader perspective when you want to make a decision on a certain matter especially on issues that which has an effect on your health, time, money and other resources.

A Congruence Checklist helps to reveal the probable consequences of your decision on various other aspects of your life, i.e. the financial, emotional, or spiritual implications of your decisions and actions.

As such, if you want to make an important decision such as starting a business, getting into a partnership, getting married/divorced, quitting your job, voting for a politician, or even buying an asset, you need to ask yourself these ten questions before you make that final decision.

The main advantages of this checklist as a decision tool are that the first three questions focus on clarity on the subject matter by shedding light on the definition, purpose and processes associated with whatever you are dealing with.

The focus on these three issues helps with assurance/confidence on the fact that whoever is making a decision is doing so on a subject that he/she clearly understands.

Question Four (4) on the checklist helps the decision maker to be open-minded enough to understand that despite good intentions, some missions fail and thus, the mind should be prepared from the beginning to be accountable for such failures and to also come up with Plan B or even C.

The fifth, sixth and seventh questions on the checklist has a ‘Pareto’ effect in that it deals with essence and relevance as a way of evaluating the worthiness of consideration, adoption, and implementation on any subject matter.

These three questions focus on the assessment of importance. When you answer these questions, you will be able to understand if whatever you are dealing with is really worthy your time, money, energy and resources.

Question Eight (8) seeks to identify a person or group of people who are responsible for the implementation of a certain resolution, and also shows us those individuals that are tasked with the mandate of making sure that everything goes as planned (oversight).

The nineth and tenth question seek to address the issue of effectiveness, results and impact, since resolutions that are adopted without clarity on these issues are very costly in terms of time, energy, money and other resources.

Once all the questions on this checklist are answered and a resolution is passed to act on a certain decision, the relevant authority must then sign what I termed the Smart Decision Report which gives an overview of the details behind the adoption of a certain policy, process, procedure etc.

The Smart Decision Toolkit ensures that people make openminded decisions and take informed action which they are accountable for and thus promotes the adoption and implementation of the best Corporate Governance practices in both the private and public sector.

Those who make decisions without the use of any decision framework or toolkit, whether in their individual capacity or as a group in an organisation tend to act whimsically (emotionally) than logically at the expense of their stakeholders i.e. family, friends, or shareholders.

It is therefore critically important for every individual or organisation to adopt the Smart Decision Toolkit in their quest for efficiency, effectiveness, accountability and best practices in the pursuit of any objective.

For training and assistance on how to effectively use the Smart Decision Toolkit (Fundamental Congruence Checklist), contact Brian on – [email protected]