I believe a team will find better decision/solution than an single person.

That's why I like to find solutions in a team.

But the draw back is obvious: It takes much more time.

How to find a decision in a team without wasting much time?

Dear down voters I am new to the "workspace" Q+A site. Please tell me what's wrong with my question. What are you missing? How can I improve it?

  • What kind of decision/solution do you have in mind? Like: Who should be fired next? Which way to implement feature X? Who shall pay for the next dinner? When to hold the next meeting? – Alexander Apr 10 '15 at 9:05
  • @Alexander do you think the topic does matter? I think it does, but not 100%. I guess for most topics it is the same. – guettli Apr 10 '15 at 10:29

As you have said, getting a group together every time a solution is needed ca take a lot of time, and sometimes it's not worth it if the decision/problem is small. However, when it makes sense to get a team involved, there are some things you can do to make the actual discussion shorter:

  • Give people plenty of warning and information beforehand so they can spend time catching up on the details and options available,

  • Have a shortlist of potential solutions ready to choose from,

  • If a discussion is not making progress, leave it and come back to it the next day or some time soon,

  • If there are multiple options, have people present their opinion and at the end have people vote,

  • Break the problem into small sections, as making a decision on a few small things one-at-a-time is less stressful and intimidating than making a huge decision.

  • 1
    And: timebox the decision. – S. Kolassa - Reinstate Monica Apr 9 '15 at 12:12
  • Yes, if you provide choices, the time to take a decision gets faster. But it hinders creative thinking. I grew up in a country with little to no multiple choice tests. Yes the decision gets faster with choices - but people won't use their full mental power. – guettli Apr 14 '15 at 7:22
  • @guettli - People have their own jobs and tasks to get through in a day, you can't really expect them to use their 'full creative thinking' for every tiny decision that barely affects them. If they see a problem or if none of the suggestions suit then they will make other suggestions. But you should not waste time talking in circles to reach a decision in an hour that could have been suggested and agreed on in ten minutes - this benefits nobody. – clairebones Apr 14 '15 at 11:00

First, not every decision needs to be made by the team. Second, some decisions can be made by you with you running your decision by your team, with deadline attached. Third, carefully select which decision you want made by the team, give enough time for the decision to be hashed and drive the back-and-forth until the decision is hammered out.

Not sure that decisions made by the team are necessarily better thought out, especially if everyone has their own tight deadlines and priorities and treat your request for their participation as an afterthought. One way to counter this possibility is to delegate to the team the kind of decisions they don't want to treat as an afterthought.

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