Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mapping to Support Decision Making

This morning, I was scanning through a book I've owned for a while and not fully read.  It's called Visible Thinking: Unlocking Causal Mapping for Practical Business Results, by John M. Bryson, Fran Ackermann, Colin Eden, and Charles B. Finn.

 There was one example of how causal mapping can be used to support decision making and immediately I thought of a specific personal application.  I've been ruminating about a decision.  For an upcoming trip to Morocco, I have identified two potential biking activities.  I have to choose between a five-day trip in the mountains and one or more day-long trips on reasonably flat terrain. I have to decide soon because should I try to do the five-day trip in the mountains, I will need to seriously train for it.

Here is my map.  It's hand-drawn, with no rewrites and edits, which in most cases is good enough.
Decision-making Map: Biking in Morocco

Note the couple of insights:
1. The map helped me make the decision to stick to the less challenging day-long bike trips without feeling like a loser for failing to take on the challenge of the five-day trip.
2.  Beyond the decision itself, the map helped me identify additional actions to take ahead of the trip to maximize benefits in the context of the decision taken.  The day-long bike trips can be combined with biking in the city itself and hiking or some other physical activity.