Continuous decision management

Newton’s Second Law of Motion is expressed as an equation is F = ma; Force = Mass x Acceleration.  This law is one of the most useful principles of the physical sciences; nearly everything we do and every product we use leverages (or obeys) it in some way.

Can F=ma be applied to non-physical objects such as ideas, decisions or thinking?  Not directly, but it can still be instructive as a metaphor.

Ideas (aka alternatives) can be accelerated into reality by the continuous application of thinking force on their decision “containers”.  A product is composed of multiple alternatives embedded in multiple decisions, so the ideal product accelerator is one that applies a large (efficient) thinking force continuously and in parallel to all the decisions that comprise its design.

A Decision pattern for product development exposes (makes visible) many decisions at once; in a sense it unfurls a large sail that can “catch the wind” to accelerate the ship (the product design).  The more decisions that you can make visible at once; the larger sail you create and expose to the force of good thinking.  If you spend all you time furling and unfurling mini-sails, you won’t go very fast.

Such are the perils of the predominately “batch” decision-making approach that most folks use for product development.  Decisions are treated as design artifacts; trade studies and documents to be written off to the side.  They are staffed intermittently and attacked serially, “unfurled” during a meeting and then “furled” again.  It looks like the whole crew is really busy; scurrying around the deck and working hard, but there is very little canvas exposed to the wind.

To mix metaphors, the current design paradigm has a very high switching overhead; engineers jump from requirements to models to PowerPoint slides to risks to project plans to tests to gate reviews.  They don’t recognize that all these objects are firmly attached to decisions and could be managed and aligned continuously, efficiently and in context if they just did proactive continuous decision management.

It’s hard to change paradigms; it takes early adopters and risk-takers who are willing to experiment with new approaches.  If that’s you, give the Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF) a try. Begin today by contacting the Decision Driven® Solutions team at or to start your free trial of DDSF.

About decisiondriven

Innovator in Decision Management, Systems Thinking and System Engineering methods and tools
This entry was posted in Decision Concepts, Decision Driven Innovation, Decision Driven Product Development, Decision Driven Strategy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s