Decision Time

11 Nov 2016

Many hands make heavy work.

For big decisions, like hiring, it's worth involving as many people as we can and taking as much time as we need. For those, we have to optimise. But for a lot of others, we should be satisficing instead - the most important thing is that we make a decision that's not obviously stupid, and we make it right now.

So here's how we do it at Fire Hazard:

0) Setup. We're probably in the context of a Quest, which means that we have a Guide already appointed. Otherwise we pick one (usually Gwyn or Amy if available).

1) Introduction. The Guide defines the problem to be solved, and defines the maximum amount of time available to solve it. "What are we doing with Shadow scheduling? We can potentially extend, or add another season, or both, or neither. We have until 12:50".

2) Discussion. The Guide keeps this moving. If other discussions come up ("wait, are we extending Undercover as well?"), the Guide makes the decision to Switch ("Right, this is urgent, we're switching to dealing with this weekend's Undercover") or Queue ("We'll resolve Shadow, then talk about Undercover"). The guide tries to terminate the discussion early as soon as it looks like there might be consensus, possibly using Fist Of Five.

3A) Consensus. Everyone agrees, or the people who disagree agree to be overruled ("I think you're probably wrong, but I'm not sure enough to make an issue of it").

3B) Tiebreaker; time has expired and there is no consensus. Gwyn puts the CEO hat on (this is an actual hat). Each side restates their position and reasoning. The CEO makes an instant decision. Discussion of this issue ends until we have new data (which, if the CEO decided wrongly, might be quite soon).

4) Document. The Guide writes down the decision and the reasons (so that, when we've forgotten, we don't have to repeat this process).