Make Your Decisions as a Team

Teams have become dynamic forces in the world in terms of their own environment; Customer service teams, cross functional teams, quality circles and even virtual teams. Devolved with autonomy, responsibilities and effectiveness novel teams don’t just do. They make decisions. Therefore, making effective decision is vital not only for the working organizations but also for the individual performance. I have focused on identifying existing, potential effective team decision making tools, processes and approaches while evaluating novel methods which are exists in current organizations.

Individual decision making is the act of working according to single person’s thoughts. Whereas, Team decision making is the process through which a team chooses alternatives. Therefore, Team work can make available many discrete opportunities for individuals as well as for the organizations / companies that they are working for. The identity of a team is very important. It’s purely based on the team performances and the decisions that they have made. This allows individuals with a feeling of relation that they have built with their colleagues and allow them to comfort their own satisfactory level in terms of the work they are doing. Therefore, it supports to make the group work more closely together as they make decisions. This should improve motivation and performance as everyone seeks to contribute to achieving the best for all.

According to Kemp making good decisions involves expansive group conversation that leads to sound conclusions and swift execution. This sounds simple, but in many organizations, making a decision and seeing it through can become an exercise in frustration for managers and employees alike.
Every day, professional teams make many decisions from range; small to large scale, both in terms of resources involved in making the decision and the impact that the decisions can have.

  • Small-scale decisions might be the why, where, and when to be held the next meeting. These types of decisions involve resources in the form of time and energy to evaluate and select the purposes, time, and location of the meeting. Inability to effectively make small-scale decisions rapidly and effectively may lead to a dysfunctional teams. (Patrick)
  • A large-scale decision might be determining the approach to adopt for the design project. This decision involves the time and energy of the individuals who research the different alternatives as well as their pros and cons. Some of the team members may have substantial commitment to one or more of the possible approaches. This decision has the potential to make or break a team.

Yet, team decision making would not be sufficient in order to make better results unless otherwise members are educated to make them effectively. Therefore, high performance teams require processes through which teams make high quality decisions.

Why Effective Team Decision Making is Required?

Teams have to make many decisions during its existence. These decisions may be made in ad-hoc ways or using processes that increase the likelihood of an effective choice. The processes through which decisions are reached may dramatically affect the quality of the decisions and team performance. For example, the choice a design approach might be made by through simple polling system or by thoughtful analysis of the pros and cons of each alternative.

To make informed choices in selecting team decision making processes, teams need to learn how others have thought about decision making processes.

Current Effective Team Decision Making Processes

Throughout the years of studies, many researchers have investigated and excavated different team decision making approaches, which can be used in any kind of a formed team. Most of them have been validated based on qualitative and quantitative results which are gathered through industrial, and academic organizations. These approaches are still valid and can be used to enhance the effectiveness of team decision making process to a greater extend.

According to Richard A. Guzzo team effectiveness and decision making in organizations depends on five basic principles or qualities such as the

  1. Team member’s nature
  2. Their function.
  3. Their effectiveness
  4. Their decision-making processes, and
  5. Their ability to change the face of organizational life.

If an organization is capable of identifying these principles and clearly defined them, then they could make effective decisions towards their day-to-day activities. An authority on team decision making, saves the day by offering tested methods and tools that teams and leaders can use to intensify their performance level, to combat teams and their decision making process.

According to Harvey Robbins and Michael Finley, if a team is planning to make a major decision it should, wherever possible, discuss and agree on how the decision will be reached using one of the seven methods which they have introduced before the decision-making discussion starts. The leader or facilitator of the particular meeting should introduce the decision which needs to be made and then propose a decision-making method which is then discussed and agreed.

In Philosophy IB — Strategy — Implementation — Management Consulting, online article has discussed 7 novel best practices which are currently using in many companies across the globe. According to their experience, group-decision making works best when the process is buttoned up so that the group’s time and energy is focused on the content of the decision.