Step 1: The decision analysis shortcut
The decision analysis shortcut (rule of thumb):
Describe the rule of thumb that is being used to make this decision without conducting a full analysis every time. If there is not one, what rule of thumb (decision analysis shortcut) would you recommend to be used to make the decision without a full analysis? Justify your suggestion: Why should your rule of thumb work?
Make sure that your example is designed to replace a lengthy analysis in a decision situation.
Step 2: Success example
Give an example of where this decision analysis shortcut comes close (or would come close, if the rule is new) to the correct decision.
Step 3: Failure example
Give an actual example of where it failed badly and explain why (or where it may fail badly, if you are suggesting a new rule).
Step 4: Improvements
Suggest possible improvements to the decision analysis shortcut. How can analytics help in avoiding failure? (You can skip this step if the rule is new.)
Step 5: Testing
Describe how the new decision analysis shortcut would be tested before being implemented organization-wide.
Here’s the more detailed explanation on what “rules of thumb” or “decision shortcuts” are.
The big issue with this topic is that many students confuse “rules of thumb” with regular rules, so here are some clarifications.
“Rules of thumb” are ideas and standards that are used when an extended analysis is not possible or wanted. The article calls them “rules” which leads to confusion, so replace that term with “decision shortcuts.”
They are used in decision making situations. A “rule of thumb” is not the same as a rule/procedure/policy. It is a quick and dirty means of calculating or deciding something instead of taking the time to do full analysis. “All tenants must sign the lease” is a rule (policy), but it is not a decision shortcut. “If a customer returns an item without a receipt, we check the computer then give store credit” is a rule (policy), but it is not a decision shortcut. There’s no decision being analyzed quickly. For things like “tenants must give 60 days’ notice” or “no returns without receipt” there is no extended analysis you could apply- that’s because these are not decision situations.
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