When making decisions, consider testing for decision quality (DQ) so that you can avoid having another meeting. Therefore, a quick method involves testing your options against your purpose to gauge alignment and support. The DQ Spider offers an more robust method.
First, remember that the MG RUSH technique defines consensus as a decision good enough that it ‘will be supported’ (not thwarted in the hallway or uprooted in the board room) and not cause anyone to ‘lose any sleep’ rather than being anyone’s ‘favorite’ or making them ‘happy.’ Hence, this is NOT Kum-Bah-Yah, rather we are relying on the prowess of structured facilitation.
How to Begin Using the DQ Spider
The Six Vectors and Some Supporting Questions of a DQ Spider
Appropriate Context (Frame)
- Do you have an articulate problem to address?
- How clear is the background, context, and impact of the decision?
- How well do stakeholders commonly understand the problem?
- To what extent do stakeholders commonly prioritize the problem?
- To what extent has the decision been quantified for its impact, typically in dollars or FTP (full time person)?
Options Development (NOTE: some call these ‘alternatives’ but strictly speaking, in the English language, an alternative is one of two—if there are more than two, they are called options)
- What are the possible solutions (decisions)?
- What potentially critical options are missing?
- Which inconsequential options be eliminated?
- With remaining options:
- To what extent are they realistic (doable)?
- If the option is selected, to what extent will we win?
Meaningful & Reliable Information
Clear Decision Criteria (aka Values, Trade-offs, etc.)
Logic and Reasoning
- How solid is our research, logic, and findings?
- How well can we explain our choice for and choices against our options?
- To what extent have we applied appropriate tools and rigors to evaluate this option?
Action and Commitment
- How confident are we projecting the outputs or outcome of this option?
- How ready are we to commit ownership and resources to this option?
- To what extent have we missed anything substantive that could impact the quality of this decision?
How to Complete the DQ Spider?
Consider this quick and simple method to capture scoring, using a low of one (1) and a high of five (5).
- First of all, instruct each team member or stakeholder to generate their individual score for the six vectors above, against each remaining option.
- Using a spreadsheet tool or simply drawing it on a large format Post-It® paper or white board, put a dot on the average value. Also place a dot for each outlier, the lowest and highest score, along each of the six vectors.
- Discuss the outliers so that everyone can support the original average, or move the average value either lower or higher based on the discussion and consensual understanding.
- Facilitate discussion around comparing the results and consider the following questions:
- To what extent are the values defensible?
- Which scores appear too high or low relative to the project or initiative they are supporting? (adjust the score if necessitated)
- To what extent do the differences represent real risk or simply differences of opinion?
- You may want to force rank the six vectors, if some are more important than others.Tell the group to consider the ranking during its assessment, and if necessary, change the values based on a permutation of the reduced or increased weight of each vector.
- Therefore, in our illustration above, stakeholders would favor Option 3 if Ownership and Commitment are substantially more important than logic or reliable information.
- Likewise, stakeholders would favor Option 1 if Context and Logic become more important than Criteria and Information.
 NOTE: Microsoft Excel refers to this chart as a “Radar” Chart
 A ‘dimension’ or ‘factor’ capture a single measurement while a ‘vector’ captures multiple dimensions or factors.
Don’t ruin your career or reputation with bad meetings. Register for a class or forward this to someone who should. Taught by world-class instructors, MG RUSH professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practice. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools, methods, and approaches throughout the week. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.
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