If you don't risk anything, you risk even more.

Erica Jong

Decision support and appraisal

Management decisions often involve assessing a wide range of options, each of which involves varying degrees of risk. This includes the ‘do nothing’ option – often the riskiest option of all. We help clients at all stages of the decision-making process, ranging from the initial identification and appraisal of options through to detailed cost benefit analysis of selected options. We can help:

  • Understand the decision context: what is the current situation, what is the vision, what risks and barriers could affect realisation of the vision
  • Identify the Options: how can the vision be realised - including exploring ways this can be achieved with the help of others rather than limiting the options to ones entirely within the control of the organisation
  • Characterise the options in terms of:
    - The outcomes can each option deliver
    - The likelihood of success
    - The activities required to prepare for and implement each option
    - The inputs required (including resources, competencies, information, infrastructure)
  • Present the results as appraisal summary tables presenting quantitative data (such as cost:benefit ratios or whole life discounted costs) alongside more qualitative information.

For very risky or complicated decisions, where mistakes could be costly and difficult to rectify, significant effort should be put into understanding the risks and benefits, and modelling the relationship between inputs and potential impacts. We have an unrivalled reputation for working in complex and often controversial areas to bring clarity to the issues and achieve consensus concerning the best way forward. We bring to our assignments:

  • Transparency – adopting an iterative approach involving key stakeholders in the whole process of defining the issues, seeking and appraising solutions, documenting fully the process and findings
  • Challenge – challenging assumptions, including our own, and encouraging others to do the same
  • A multi-disciplinary and cross functional approach – working effectively with domain experts and across organisational boundaries
  • Scientific and methodological rigour – bringing the latest thinking effectively to bear on the problem
  • Clarity of results – so that the implications of simplifications and assumptions can be fully understood and decisions taken in the full understanding of any doubts or uncertainties.

EXAMPLE CASE STUDIES:

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