Decision memories

Process and event memories, like project outputs, are relatively easy to capture and codify. But decision memories are often hampered by our tendency to justify decisions after they have been made, and even create elaborate, and often fictional, stories around them. For this reason, it is important to capture decisions as they are being made, not after the fact

Explaining why other decisions were not made, should also be normal practice. For example, I was working with a client that made decisions on which chemical compound to develop out of a possibility of thousands. There was a cost to initially create any compound, so not all possibilities could be attempted. Decisions were made by a committee on which compound to pursue. However, the decisions on why the other compounds were not developed were never recorded. Several years later, the situation had changed due to improvements in technology and new research findings, and now some of the rejected compounds may have had potential for development. Unfortunately, no records were available to search the rejected compound database and find ones that met the new criteria. Sometimes our decisions not to do something are just as important as our selected course of action, from the perspective of the future. But we never know this in advance.

SOURCE Harold Jarche


Capture as it happens - Memory fades, protecting our world view, and forcing cause and effect

The know-why tragedy : divorced from my work on the cutting room floor