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Operationalizing Decision Yield - selecting between investments

A number of previous examples introduced Decision Yield, discussed how to develop questions to measure it and then how to operationalize it in a performance auditor by measuring performance over time.Decision Yield can also be used when you have a variety of proposed decision-centric projects to help decide which one is most appropriate. If you are taking a holistic view of decisioning within your organization and trying to focus your energies on a small number of projects you will need a way to compare the likely or expected outcomes. Decision Yield is an ideal tool for this. To make this work you will have to be able to estimate the improvement likely in each of the five dimensions from each project. Clearly this can be challenging but scoping each project should include some assessment of the hoped for improvements along with some idea of how likely or unlikely those improvements are.

To make this work, you will also need to get stakeholders to assign weights as described above for each project (they will likely assign different weights to different projects remember). To show the trade-off matrix you need to plot each project to show three dimensions. The three dimensions are Decision Yield (the single numeric vale calculated from your scorecard for each project), estimated time to market (planned duration of the project from inception to delivery of improvement) and estimated investment (total investment - staffing, resources, cash etc). This will let you plot a universe of alternatives that can be considered. When considering decision-centric projects, Decision Yield may well be a better measure of value than other models given its consideration of all five dimensions of decisioning. Each project will have different trade offs in terms of time, cost and Decision Yield but at least by plotting them you can show decision makers the range of alternatives.

This graph shows 5 different projects where the size of the bubble is the estimated Decision Yield and the cost and time to market are the axes.

The classic representation of Decision Yield is in the radar chart style shown in the overview. Different projects and opportunities will result in different Decision Yield "curves". You can also compare these curves when trying to choose between different opportunities. One company's strategy could be to focus on agility-centric projects more than cost-centric projects when engaged in a company-wide focus on reducing IT costs while another is focused on top-line growth. In the first projects whose projected Decision Yield curve have good growth on the agility axis would be preferred while those with growth on the precision axis would come top in the second. Again the holistic approach of measuring Decision Yield rather than, or in conjunction with, some more narrow definition of return on investment will make it easier to show the choices available for decision-centric projects.

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