body of knowledge, and related analytical techniques, for helping the owner to reach decisions about the assets, under conditions of uncertainty and risk.
are selected by the decision-maker, decision theory points to possible
courses of action.
It is important for the organization to recognize that
decision making is both an art and a science. Decisions should be
recorded and revisited periodically to be retested against changes in
circumstances and new awareness in the organization.
Comprehensiveness (“Ready, Aim, Aim…!”) – The decision
maker tries to evaluate every possible course of action. This approach
is a noble goal but unrealistic in the real world where time and money
are limited. Rational comprehensiveness results in “paralysis through
analysis” where the organization get stuck in: “Ready, aim, aim, aim,
aim, aim… but no fire”. Sometimes people try to delay making decisions
and use the argument that more information is required. Endless delays
in decision making is a type of filibuster technique used by
politicians to obstruct progress and has not place in a housing society.
Incrementalism (“Ready, Fire, Aim!”) - The
decision-maker forges ahead quickly and makes decisions that are only
marginally different from past practice. The incrementalist wants to be
pragmatic and get things done. While it is good to get action and avoid
unnecessary delays, this method is sometime criticized for failing to
“look before your leap. The organization should be careful to
avoid finding itself having to address the unintended consequences that
may arise from: “Ready, fire, aim!”.
Scanning (“Aim, Ready, Fire”) – The decision maker tries
to find a compromise between rational comprehensiveness and disjointed
incrementalism. Recognizing that within the world of infinite
alternatives and chains of unintended consequences, only a narrow range
of alternatives and consequences can be examined seriously. Mixed
scanning is a realistic approach but generally results in “satisficing”
rather than “optimizing”. “Satisfactory” may feel inadequate
when compared to “optimal” but it is good to consider the following
quotation: “A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan to
be developed tomorrow”.