Home » Planning » Overcoming Bounded Rationality

Credit: advisorperspectives.com

Credit: advisorperspectives.com

Then there are the limits on our abilities to make good decision. Due to constraints on cognitive abilities, time and access to information as well as the interplay of emotions, humans operate under what is know as bounded rationality. This holds that even though we may want to make the best possible decision, we lack the ability to do so. … The good news is that there are strategies you can use to reduce your chances of succumbing to behavioral errors. One of the simplest and most effective strategies is to simply use the power of the written word. Write down the rules governing how to manage …. Simply having these rules in place can make a big difference. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated how powerful the written word can be. Eight Hospitals around the world were asked to follow a checklist of procedures when performing surgeries. Over a three-month period, the number of patients with complications dropped by nearly 40% …. Investing Strategies for an Irrational Brain, Charles Rotblut, CFA, AAII Journal, Oct 2015.

Simply put: first, get good information so we know how we plan to manage our effort. Secondly, spell out what we are doing in a simple and straightforward manner while we are not yet in a crisis. Thirdly, refer to that written guidance during those critical periods and go with your best judgment.

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All we are trying to do is stay unaffected by the hype and emotions while trying to stay rationally grounded in reality. This is where we will make our best decisions. After all, chaos reigns supreme and rationality is always bounded, which is why good managers are in such high demand. 

See How To Get Good Project Management Planning Data

Have you written down your strategy for your project, and does it serve as a touchstone for making rational decisions?

Thank you for sharing!