Don’t decide … yet

We’ve all been in a situation of having to make a decision with imperfect knowledge. But is it always a time that the final decision has to be made?

We often speak of a Cost of Delay, yet there are times when there might be a Benefit to Delay. Many in the Lean and Agile communities have written on the subject. Notably, Mary and Tom Poppendick have been ardent advocates of the Defer Commitment principle when it comes to decision making (also known as the Last Responsible Moment). It boils down to simple advice: If you can afford to wait before making an important decision, do. Ironically, it turns out that one of the best ways to improve decision making is to not take too many decisions early on.

When making decisions, ask yourself if now is the time to choose and eliminate other contenders, or whether there’s still time to leave your options open.

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