« PMP Certification Exam Experience Requirements Spreadsheet | Main | Microsoft Project 2010 Tips and Tricks Webcast »

Books to Consider – Decision Making

I'm in the business of improving project management. That generally means there needs to be change in an organization. One of the most difficult things is getting people to decide to change. This book helps:

Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions – Gary Klein

This book covers the topic of what Klein calls “Naturalistic Decision Making” which is defined as making decisions in a “natural” setting – one with which departs from the ideal by being under time pressure, with high stakes, inadequate information, ill-defined goals, poorly defined procedures, context (Klein gives the example of conflicting goals and stress), dynamic conditions and team coordination. Klein uncovers what he calls sources of power – intuition, mental stimulation, metaphor and storytelling. It sounds pretty soft, but these often are the real factors behind how decisions are made. If you want to influence an organization and help them decide to change, you would do well to read this book.

On the critical side, it is attractive to think of yourself as an experienced decision maker and this book justifies the use of your “intuition”. In the hands of the anti-analytical this could be dangerous, but on the other hand, it makes them no more dangerous than they already are.

Check reviews at Amazon: Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions
  • The best Project Management article I've read this year
  • Theory of Constraints and Wholesale Adoption
  • Glen's Book List
  • The Best Project Server 2010 Book
  • PM Web #001 - Glen B. Alleman's Herding Cats
  • Taking and Passing the PMP Exam - Part 15 - PMBOK version 4
  • Seeing Other Scheduling Software
  • Project Management Office and the Monorail
  • The Cashmere Bikini
  • Project Management Immaturity Model

  • Comments (2)

    Rob Schneider:

    Thanks. Was chatting with someone just this morning about how decisions are made. I'm trying to provide a service which helps decision-makers by providing them better tools for manging information for the decision basis (better project plans, better simulation of project plans impacted by risk different scenerios, etc.).

    The reaction of my friend was that "in this industry we just make decisions based on instinct and gut feel. Some of us are lucky and others are not."

    I'm going to read this book to see if it gives any insights I can use to refute/address this way of thinking. I'm not trying to take away their ability to make a decision based on instinct. I just feel that others around that person (or persons) would like to have a better basis.

    It seems that gut feel and MS Powerpoint project scheduled rule the day anymore. I will definitely check this book out.

    Post a comment

    (Comments are moderated to fight SPAM and will be published after I have a chance to approve them. Thanks for waiting.)


    The previous article is PMP Certification Exam Experience Requirements Spreadsheet.

    The next article is Microsoft Project 2010 Tips and Tricks Webcast.

    Current articles are in the main index page and you can find a complete list of articles in the archives.

    Creative Commons License
    This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
    Powered by
    Movable Type 3.34