Decision management, but not as you know it
If you’ve heard of decision management before, you’ll know it as a set of processes for improving and streamlining action items. Decision management systems treat decisions as reusable assets and using predictive analytics, business rules, continuous improvement, etc., can provide automation at decision-making points along the way. You can imagine this happening quite frequently in the production line environment. But what about those decisions that can’t be automated—decisions that happen by committee, in a human environment.
Group decisions can be difficult to arrive at, and not just because of timezone considerations where stakeholders are not in the same location. But decision-making groups are also subject to the human flaws that affect other groups. There’s a terrific explanation of the pitfalls of group discussion on Wikipedia. Once we’ve arrived at a collective decision and we implement it, we might have tremendous success or colossal failure. Depending on the outcome, we may want to be able to repeat that, or avoid it. If the people who were in the room back then can’t remember how they arrived at a decision, or if any of those people have left the company, the tacit knowledge of how that decision was reached is out the door, too. It’s a perennial issue.
There’s a new SaaS product on the market with the goal of plugging this gap. Hexigo enables collaborative decision-making, holds stakeholders to decision-making deadlines, and retains all discussion and agreements/disagreements around the topic for later analysis.
Hexigo works around the idea of groups, as you’d expect. Stakeholders are invited to join the group, which contains current and approved decisions. Group moderators are responsible for signing off proposed decisions. At the user profile level, users can see every discussion they’re involved with, including those with approaching deadlines. They’re also notified about decisions they’ve not yet participated in.
Groups can be public or private, but on the roadmap is the option to hide groups from the general listing. Also on the roadmap is the ability to assign action items and KPIs, and there are plans to integrate with enterprise social and project management tools. With some well-known customers already, Hexigo seems to scratch an itch—especially for those organisations who don’t even know whether the decisions they make are good or not—but as a tool that aims to solve one of enterprise’s biggest knowledge retention issues, it’s yearning to be part of a broader project management solution. Hopefully for Hexigo, that kind of integration will come sooner rather than later.