What is Decision Management?
Decision Management is a process that ensures that all stakeholder's perspectives and their uncertain knowledge are effectively utilized in determining what to do next to make the best possible decisions with known expected satisfaction and risk.
How does Accord support decision management?
Accord is a computer application that helps the team organize information and generates analytical results that enable the team to make the best possible decisions.
What are the benefits of using Accord?
- Accord reduces the time required to make a team decision by lowering risk of making a poor decision.
- Accord improves confidence that the best possible decision was made with existing uncertain information.
- Accord advises about what to do next to reach a decision.
- Accord improves the team's understanding of the problem.
- Accord makes the best use of all the team members' knowledge.
- Accord helps reach decisions that all team members buy into and feel accountable for.
- Accord gives measures of solution quality, risk and team consensus.
- Accord results are reviewable, reusable and certifiable.
How much money can Accord save me?
The amount of savings depends on the complexity of the problems, the size of the teams and the capabilities of the current methodology. One customer estimated that it saved an entire design cycle on a 2.5 year project. This resulted in saving many hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries alone.
How much time can Accord save me?
saves time by using time more effectively. Initially, using Accord
takes more time than ad hoc decision making. However, it will save extensive time later because it:
- Increases the team's understanding of the problem early in the process
- Lowers risk that it will be necessary to readdress the issue again
- Guides the team about the most beneficial next steps
- Identifies the risks of proceeding
Does Accord restrict innovation?
No, Accord actually encourages innovation as it requires multiple alternatives for evaluation and identifies areas where alternatives can be improved.
Do problems really need to be solved in this much detail?
For simple problems, no. For important issues that require information from many functions in the organization, have uncertain information or whose results may have an important impact on the company, yes.
How long does it take to learn Accord?
The Accord program is easy to use. Basic use can learned in less than one hour and proficiency gained in a few hours. Techniques for modeling problems to achieve the best possible decisions with or without Accord can be learned in a one day training course.
Is there a limit to the size of problem that Accord can analyze?
Accord can handle very large problems. Realistically teams should keep the number of alternatives at 3-10, the number of criteria 3-20 and the size of the team to less than 20 people. Accord supports decision making within this range, in real time.
What is the technical basis of Accord?
There are three main technologies combined in Accord
- Bayesian decision theory - a recent extension of the 18th century work by Reverend Thomas Bayes. Bayesian decision theory is the well-founded computational theory for applying general knowledge to individual situations characterized by uncertainty and risk. Dr. Bruce D'Ambrosio, CTO of Robust Decisions is a well published expert in Bayesian Decision Theory.
- Taguchi's Method of Robust Design - analysis methods developed over the last fifty years by Dr. Genichi Taguchi and his followers. These methods are used to design products that are insensitive to uncertainty. One central theme is that uncertainty must be considered as a core part of the analysis of the problem. This concept became a central theme for Decision Management and Accord. Dr. David Ullman, President, is a certified expert in Taguchi methods.
- Product Design Process. The process of designing products is driven by the desire to lower risk in an uncertain situation, punctuated by decisions that commit scarce resources. These concepts apply to all technical and business processes. Dr. David Ullman, President, is the author of the Mechanical Design Process, 3rd edition, McGraw Hill, a standard text on product design.
The result is what we call "Bayesian Team Support"™ (BTS). For more on BTS click here
Can the analysis performed by Accord be done by hand?
No, the mathematics that underlies Accord are too difficult.
How is Accord most easily used to support a team?
There is a four step process:
- The team frames the problem. They work together to itemize the criteria and the alternatives.
- Each individual evaluates the framed problem
- The decision manager merges the individual evaluations
- The results of the combined evaluation are displayed as a dashboard complete
with advice about what to do next. This advice includes:
- work to reach consensus on identified evaluations
- develop more information on identified evaluations
- refine specific criteria
- develop more alternatives
- Iterate in a controlled environment that records steps in the deliberation for reuse and certification.