Decisions and consequences

Early last year I wrote a post called, Thoughts on decision-making, where I outlined some decision-making techniques and myths. One item I would like to add to that topic is to understand the consequences and ramifications of the decisions you make.
Let's step back and examine this from a business context. Suppose we are working on a project and one of the requirements is simply, "to be able to process transactions from external sources." The design team proposes two solutions:

  • Processing batch files
  • Processing individual transactions (real-time)
Based on cost estimates, the batch file solution seems more appealing. One should consider whether, in the foreseeable future, real-time processing is desirable and whether the benefits of that approach will outweigh the increase in costs. It may turn out that the batch file design still wins out but the ramifications of the decision are fully understood and can be communicated.

You may think the consequences of a decision will be minor and short-lived, but they may become temporary like income taxes.

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