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Improving Group Decision Making

Jeremy Friesen
September 28, 2021

Improving Group Decision Making

A presentation on a road-tested technique to facilitate decision-making around multi-variant and multi-person sentiment.

Jeremy Friesen

September 28, 2021

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  1. If you want to go far, go together! 2 Introduction

    (Preamble) This presentation is repurpose from one I gave at Samvera Virtual Connect 2021. I've also shared this with Kelly and Marcy for their consideration. Several other libraries have adopted experiment #1 (Emory, Northwestern, and Stanford); and University of California Santa Barbara is exploring adopting aspects of this for all of their HR hiring. TL;DR - This is a road tested approach and others are experimenting further.
  2. If you want to go far, go together! 3 Introduction

    (About Me) Jeremy Friesen (he/him) Research & Development Engineer Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame Email: [email protected] Twitter: @jeremyfriesen Blog/Website: https://takeonrules.com - blog about games, programming, poetry, work experiments, or whatever interests me
  3. If you want to go far, go together! 4 Introduction

    (About Me) • I've over-extended myself across too many things • My children have begun the scattering, I sure do miss my children • I love working from home, yet sympathize with each person's preferred work situation • I've been running little experiments to disrupt workplace habits • Helping my partner's business, grow & flourish (soapygnome.com) • I prefer working on the business than in the business • Discovered this year I enjoy writing poetry • I write code but almost prefer writing documentation • Play a lot of frisbee with my dogs • Been playing RPGs online
  4. If you want to go far, go together! 5 At

    no point in my childhood did I say: "Wow, I really hope I get to attend lots of meetings in which we talk without figuring much out and then schedule another one the following week to do much the same." Let's see if we can reimagine this process? Introduction (About Me)
  5. If you want to go far, go together! 6 Introduction

    (About Presentation) Observed Problem Group decision making with multi-variant inputs are complicated social activities that tend to unduly favor quick-to-words people. Exhaustion and fatigue should not be why decisions are finalized. Can we create processes to improve collaborative decision-making?
  6. If you want to go far, go together! 7 Overview

    • Introduction • Experiment #1: Hiring • Questions • Experiment #2: Creating a Project State Rubric (if time permits) • Questions • Observations
  7. If you want to go far, go together! 8 Experiment

    #1: Hiring At the 2020 Fall Partner's Meeting I presented an overview of the process. That presentation focused on the overall project, today, I'll dive deeper into some of the activities and artifacts of that project.
  8. If you want to go far, go together! 9 Experiment

    #1: Hiring We established an ideal timeline to extend an offer. In other words, we treated hiring as a project, with all of its time-constraints and scheduling challenges. It was an ambitious timeline. We needed to optimize meetings which meant acknowledging shared understandings and exposing differences in opinion. We also needed to utilize opportunities for asynchronous activity
  9. If you want to go far, go together! 10 Experiment

    #1: Spreadsheets The Four Spreadsheets of the Apocalypse • Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) weighting • Resume / curriculum vitae (CV) screening • Question workshopping • Initial phone screening Link to shareable folder (start with the README) Note: each of spreadsheet has a README sheet and instructions for extending/modifying them.
  10. If you want to go far, go together! 11 Experiment

    #1: KSAs Spreadsheet 1: Establishing Weighted KSAs The goal is to aggregate each person's relative importance score for each KSA.
  11. If you want to go far, go together! 12 Experiment

    #1: Resume/CV Spreadsheet 2: Pre Screen Rubric To help narrow the list of applicants that will advance to the initial interview.
  12. If you want to go far, go together! 13 Experiment

    #1: Question Workshop Spreadsheet 3: Question Workshop To help the hiring team create a focused list of questions that will likely cover all of the KSAs.
  13. If you want to go far, go together! 14 Experiment

    #1: Interview Spreadsheet 4: Screening Rubric To equip the team to individually assess each KSA for each candidate. (Here there be math magic!)
  14. If you want to go far, go together! 15 Experiment

    #1: Summary I developed these spreadsheets to equip the hiring committee to do asynchronous work so that when meeting as a group we could accept where we agreed and discuss our not-yet-in-alignment perspectives. These discussion were quick, topical, and helped move towards consensus. In other words, we exposed numeric insight into each person's position and in doing so it appeared to help accept a group decision based on the aggregate wisdom and insights.
  15. If you want to go far, go together! 16 Questions

    I'm going to pause for questions…
  16. If you want to go far, go together! 17 Experiment

    #2: Project Rubric I'm part of a new group; one responsibility we have is establishing a process by which we evaluate and move projects related to innovation through a predictable life-cycle. These decisions are ours to make, but our process and decisions should be transparent. Note: Focus on the tool, not the criteria and weights as those are distracting details.
  17. If you want to go far, go together! 18 Experiment

    #2: Ranking Spreadsheet Spreadsheet 1: Assessment Criteria Consensus Building Worksheet We built: • README • Common vocabulary • Criteria for evaluation • Sheets for individual input • Sheet for comparative discussion (with colors verifying that no one on the team was red/green color blind)
  18. If you want to go far, go together! 19 Questions

    I'm going to pause for questions…
  19. If you want to go far, go together! 20 My

    Observations • Gives individuals time to think and develop thoughts • Facilitates effective meetings by requiring preparation • Helps highlight alignment and differences in understanding in a detached manner • Creates space for consensus in the aggregate • Requires clarification of the purpose of this decision • May provide a means of meta-analysis of the varied decisions of an organization • It makes meetings fun† † - For some definitions of fun, your experiences may vary, void where prohibited
  20. If you want to go far, go together! 21 If

    you have any follow up questions you can email me ([email protected]) or reach out on the Samvera's Slack service. I'm always happy to: • Go over the various spreadsheets with you • Dig deeper into the details of this process • Help you develop your own Thank You