• Victor Genin

5 Strategies to Make Decisions Faster & More Efficient

From what to eat for breakfast to what career path to pursue, we make thousands of decisions every day. Though many of these are trivial and do not have long-term effects on our lives, others have consequences that will be felt by many for long periods of time. This second type of decision is especially prominent in the realm of industrial production. Miners, operators, business stakeholders, and everyone in-between must make many decisions while at work, all of which affect the success of the whole enterprise.

The importance of each decision on an operation combined with the quick pace of production creates a challenge: decision-makers must ensure their choices are correct, but they must do so as quickly as possible. This is why industrial organizations frequently attempt to reduce time-to-decision, the time that passes between an individual being presented with a choice and this person selecting an option.

A shorter time-to-decision is a crucial component in making operations more efficient, and finding ways to make decisions more quickly can bring benefits across the board. With this in mind, here are five strategies for reducing time-to-decision:

1. Set a hard deadline to reach a final decision.

Industrial operations work on tight schedules, and there is simply no room for people to drag their feet when making choices. One way to prevent delays in decision-making is by setting a target time or date at which point there must be an option selected.

2. When feasible, list out all of the choices available to you.

Though this does not make sense in situations where there are quite literally infinite options or a decision must be reached in seconds, when selecting from a limited set of choices, it is helpful to write down the possible options. This makes it more difficult to stray from the pre-selected choices, and some people find that simply seeing the choices in writing makes it easier to select one.

3. Look at the bigger picture.

It is all too easy to get so caught up in the small details and immediate effects of each action, but clarity can sometimes be found by considering the wider context and ramifications of a certain decision. Ask how each choice will affect later operational stages or even which is more in line with the organization’s mission.

4. See what the data says.

Though a certain decision may seem logical, data from past operations can sometimes paint a very different picture. Therefore, when struggling between various options, it is always a good idea to see what the results of similar processes have been. Alternatively, if this data does not exist, it is possible that other companies, organizations, or even academics have released figures that can shed light on difficult decisions.

5. Use an AI-knowledge solution.

There is perhaps no better way to increase operational efficiency than to invest in an AI-knowledge solution for your company. Using algorithms that run millions of possible scenarios to find the optimal one, AI knowledge is capable of making recommendations to operators that can reduce time-to-decision by as much as 80 percent. Even better, because these algorithms take into account empirical data and the feedback of operators and remote experts, the recommendations provided are always the optimal means of reaching production goals. By combining all of the aforementioned strategies into complex algorithms that continuously learn from expert feedback, a good AI-knowledge solution can turn decision-making into a simple process.

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