The Power of Slow Thinking in Business Cases: Learning from My Experience

Jul 27, 2023

The Power of Slow Thinking in Business Cases: Learning from My Experience

As business professionals, we are often driven by the need for quick decisions and rapid progress. However, when it comes to signing off on business cases, embracing the value of slow thinking can make all the difference between success and failure. Let's explore some eye-opening statistics and personal experiences that shed light on the importance of careful consideration upfront.

Project Failure 

In the UK, a significant number of projects encounter hurdles and setbacks. Recent studies indicate that approximately 70% of projects fail to meet their objectives, leading to wasted resources, time, and effort. Surprisingly, a considerable portion of these failures could have been mitigated with more thorough upfront thinking.

My Personal Encounter  

During my involvement in a technology project, I witnessed firsthand how overreliance on fast thinking in creating the business case led to costly consequences. A third-party service provider was paid a staggering £1 million to complete a task that was significantly overestimated by the customer. In reality, the work required was only a fraction of the initial estimation, resulting in serious overpayment. This incident served as a powerful reminder of the need for a deliberate and thoughtful approach in business decision-making.

business case

Learning from Daniel Kahneman

Renowned psychologist Daniel Kahneman, in his influential book "Thinking, Fast and Slow," emphasizes the significance of two modes of thinking: fast and slow. While fast thinking helps us make swift judgments, slow thinking encourages careful analysis and deliberation. Embracing slow thinking can prevent costly mistakes and foster better outcomes for businesses.

Harnessing Critical Thinking Skills 

To bolster the quality of business cases, executives and their teams can benefit greatly from enhancing critical thinking skills, such as logic and reasoning, often taught in philosophy. By challenging assumptions, questioning premises, and thoroughly evaluating alternatives, we can ensure that our business decisions are well-founded and aligned with reality.

critical thinking

Let us remember that while speed is valuable in certain situations, taking the time to think deeply and critically can lead to more robust and successful business cases. As we learn from past experiences and the insights of thought leaders like Daniel Kahneman, let's embrace slow thinking as a powerful tool for driving business excellence.

Ready to Elevate Your Projects? 

If you're tired of costly project overruns and falling short of expected outcomes, let's talk about how my skills can be the game-changer you need. I engage with clients through surveys, face-to-face workshops, and follow-up calls, and I specialize in supporting finance and operations departments, ensuring success and efficiency every step of the way. Reach out today, and let's embark on a journey to project excellence together!

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