The reason for prep meetings, adding more people “in the loop” etc.

April 01, 2018

The reason for prep meetings, adding more people “in the loop” etc. is to spread the accountability of the decision so that in the event that things go south, the blame is spread and you aren’t blamed. Most decisions of reasonable quality don’t require a lot of data points or a tremendous amount of insight. It’s just that the perceived consequences of a screw up are high enough that people would rather prolong a decision until “everybody’s on the same page” while at the same time decreasing the quality and increasing the cost of the decision.

The underlying problem isn’t that people can’t make decisions or the feedback loops are inherently long. It’s that people often don’t have the safety net to make decisions, because as much as we preach “fail fast” etc., the prevailing mindset is still that you’re expected to get things right in the first place.

The good news is that things are slowly changing in the face of market pressure, so even big ‘ol behemoths like telcos, utilities are re-thinking just how day-to-day business/decision-making is done.