Close Calls

How many times have you agonized over options that were very close after careful evaluation?

This is a situation that engineers totally dread when performing an optioneering exercise to select the best solutions. After all the work that went into developing multiple solution options, there is an unspoken desire for the “best solution” to beat the second best by a clear distance. (That’s why we created weighted criteria!) If the highest ranked solution STILL beats the second ranked one by a thin margin, we are in trouble! Imagine all the client queries to address… and worst of all, the likelihood for the decision to be flipped(!) down the road and all the unnecessary rework that it will create!

This is not helpful to the process of finding answers. And definitely not helpful to clients.

We tend to forget that the reality for “close calls” is that there is no reasonable way to know for certain if either selection will produce the best outcome. What close calls are really telling us is that it really doesn’t matter which of those evenly matched options we choose. We cannot lose.

There’s no point wasting time agonizing over every evaluation criteria in the hope that by “fixing” enough of those, we can get a clear decision. Let’s simply reset that evalution, treat close calls as equal preferred options and move forward. What we CAN do is to look ahead and pick the one that we are most confident of executing extremely well! That’s a way better bet for achieving the best outcomes.

#FreeingEngineering #closecalls

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