Tom Jesionowski recently published an article on TDAN about The Prime Business Decision Loop. Tom had sent me a copy in advance to look over and I thought I would blog about it and publish my comments as I think he has made a valuable contribution to the discussion around decision making with the loop.
I like the four core processes he outlines – acquire, integrate, analyze, act – and I like the way it does not pre-suppose automated or manual decision making in its basic definitions. However, as Tom gets down into the details around “Integrate” I think he starts to assume that we are only worrying about manual decision making. For instance, those building executable analytic models typically do not use data warehouse data and increasingly companies are also using adaptive analytics that respond to changing data automatically. Similarly when he starts talking about the act step I think he needs to think more about automation also, not just manual decision making. The act of making the right cross-sell, of approving an online application etc. is an automated action, not a manual one.
I really like the influence map and his discussion of personality in the communication around the loop, though I would add that the kind of automation involved is also relevant not just personality styles. Finally I would say that it is not enough to complete the loop “faster” than competitors, you must do it appreciably or noticeably faster – there must be some difference to the business. If your competitors do it in 3 days, doing it in 2.5 will not help much but doing it same day probably will, for instance.
So, while I like the loop overall, I worry that it assumes a manual decision making process. I wonder, for instance, what happens when the action is automated and the analyze step feeds not management processes but systems design.