Making the Choice for Fewer Decisions to Focus on Problem-Solving

Every day we make decisions. Research indicates that increasing the amount of daily decisions can have negative effects on our problem solving skills. There might even be a limit to the amount of decisions we can handle on a daily basis. Kathleen Vohs, a widely acclaimed marketing professor and scholar, conducted a study asking a group of random people how many decisions they made that day. Then the group was asked to do a series of math problems. Those who had fewer decisions for the day performed better than those who made a significant amount of decisions.

There might be something to this notion. We see technical icons or politicians opt for a closet full of dark shirts, jeans, or hoodies. It has become their signature statement to simplify what they wear every day. They have chosen to focus on other things. I agree that having to make volumes of decisions can be both exhausting and taxing. However, decisions are also directly tied to problem solving. In order to solve a problem or change an outcome, you have to make decisions.

Depending on your work situation, status in the company, or local climate, making the decision to go to work wearing jeans and a hoodie will not bode well for most of us. But we do find a comfort zone, the “go to” outfit for the right situation, that solves the problem of what to wear for the appropriate context. A decision made easier based on our past experience, reinforced maybe by the fact that it is your ‘lucky’ shirt. We tend to gravitate toward expanding on what has worked in the past, is easy, and has versatility.

It’s easy to make decisions when you can change your mind quite frequently with little consequence. Ever seen a teenager decide what to wear? It’s even harder when the situation changes either abruptly or gradually over time and subsequently changes what the desired outcome should be. Some of the best commercials today flash back to bad style decisions made decades ago. Thank goodness for the ability to change.

What happens when this research is expanded collectively to an entire business? Every decision that a business has to grapple with from leadership to day-to-day operations is an extraordinary feat. Business technology decisions used to be easier, mostly because choice was limited. Best-of-breed was earned in the market; infrastructure from datacenters to desktops were standardized. Choices still needed to consider performance, scale, and support. These were the difficult factors of the past, but have things changed much?

"Digital business is just too dynamic for indecisiveness"

There are more options, more choices and less time to decide – digital business is just too dynamic for indecisiveness. As Ms. Vohs’ research has shown, too many decisions are taxing and can decrease problem-solving abilities. There is something positive about reducing and simplifying the types of decisions that must be made. You should ensure that the decisions businesses opts to make are core to their mission. Pegasystems delivers strategic applications that help the most demanding organizations drive value, an easy decision for organizations. But enabling the digital experience has to extend beyond the application to the underlying infrastructure, operations, and security. The number of choices in this realm is continuously expanding. Successfully solving business problems doesn’t necessarily provide the skills, experience, or focus to make the best decisions on the underlying infrastructure and operations to make it all successful. This is why Pega Cloud enables top enterprises to get the most from their Pega applications. Our customers have made the choice for fewer decisions, opting to focus on their business, and the strategic capabilities of their applications. Pega Cloud services provide the rest.

Pega Cloud has been developed with AWS as a technology partner. Amazon Web Services’ mission is simple: deliver infrastructure services for all types of business, for today and tomorrow. As I attend Amazon Web Services re:Invent 2014 conference in Las Vegas, I am reminded of the focused dedication, passion and professional expertise that AWS embodies. Pega Cloud powered by Amazon Web Services is not a field test. It is a proven solution that continues to innovate. This week we announced the extension of this relationship with a new Pega Customer Service Application. An added bonus of this conference: I now have a clear choice of what to wear for the next few days. It might just be my next ‘lucky’ shirt.


In Build for Change: Revolutionizing Customer Engagement through Continuous Digital Innovation, Pegasystems Founder & CEO Alan Trefler shares his insight on what organizations can do to serve the next generation of customers and survive the pending "Customerpocalypse".