Invest in decision-making skills early in career
Posted on 02 Jan, 2022
Engineers are solution-oriented and often think in terms of how, rather than what & why?. This leads to
- Stalled career growth as the work gets unpleasant.
- In cases, it can lead to debate, followed by judging each other's character and skills.
- Affects company's growth, since if engineers focus on how then there is a chance people move in different directions
Develop decision-making skills by water-shedding method
Now, wtf is water-shedding?
It is used to collect rain, a watershed is a large area of land (in slope) to collect the rainwater.
- 1.Upper Section responsible for storing the bulk of water to prevent flooding.
- 2.Middle Section for slowing down the flow of water & removing pollutants to ensure the water downstream is safe.
- 3.Lower Section for utilizing the water.
Key Learning: Everything that happens downstream is connected to what happens upstream.
We can use the same pattern to make decisions,
- 1.Roots, (upper section)
- Define the goal and problem
- Establish shared priorities
- Define decision criteria
- 2.Tributaries (middle section)
- Generate Solutions
- Evaluate solutions using the defined criteria
- Identify solution trade-off to minimize risk
- 3.Lakes (lower section)
- Documenting the decision
- Communicating to stakeholders
- 1.Know your location in the watershed
- 2.Articulate and build alignment around your criteria
- 3.Diverge before you converge (sufficient time to think broadly, do brainstorming)
- 4.Communicate, communicate, communicate
- 5.Diagnose when things are off-track & adjust (mitigate risk)