Analysis vs. Action

By: Patty Azzarello; Executive, best-selling author, speaker, and CEO/Business Advisor

How Much Analysis?

To start with the business outcome in mind, and then to set a budget for how much study a particular plan or answer is worth.

The answer depends on two key items:

  • The size and importance of the thing you are doing a study on
  • How knowable the data is

Study is Expensive!

Analysis may feel safer than deciding, because as long as you are analyzing, you are never wrong.  Analysis can be very expensive and time consuming, and you have the cost of a delay in making a decision and taking action.

What Else Will You Learn?

Another valuable thing to ask yourself is what else could we learn that would make a difference in how we decide vs. today?  The big question is which choice do you pick?  You could study the options for a few weeks.  The tram has already studied the options to get to the meeting and now they would be going to perform another study.

Why not pick now?  What could you learn in the next few weeks that is not known now?  What additional data exists that will provide you more insight?

Once you reach this point ask yourself:

  • Why am I not deciding now?
  • What additional data is available?
  • What will be materially different about our decision after more study?

Start Moving Forward

Instead of having a bunch of tasks to do, you would be able to work on the action plan.

Making a decision would give you the list of resource requirements, top 5 questions to be answered and subsequent decisions that will need to be made.

Think about how much cost this saved.  Delaying the decision making would take a toll on everyone’s daily job and would not move the new project or strategy forward. 

Life After Failure

Successful companies are not successful because they do everything right, they are successful because they make mistakes and keep going, and eventually come up with a winning plan.

De-Risk With Iteration Instead of Study

If you continue thinking for a year, at the same point you’ll be much further ahead in your quest to provide successful offering because you solidified your plans based on real market feedback vs. theoretical information you obtained by a study.

If a study is needed budget a time frame for it and go find the answers.  When you exhausted the knowable data maybe it will be time to stop studying.