Adequate solutions, Conclusions - Project Management

Adequate solutions

Another psychological factor that needs to be considered is the desire of people to accept "adequate" solutions. Instead of searching for and choosing the best solutions, many executives make decisions that are simply "good enough", "acceptable" and are rated as satisfactory .

For example, businessmen often make decisions to invest in new projects if they expect a "satisfactory" profit, not bothering himself by conducting a comparison of all the opportunities open to them for investment. The question they put is this: will the project bring a "good enough return."

An employee looking for a new job will most likely stop at the first "acceptable" A proposal that meets the minimum wage requirements, growth opportunities, working conditions, remoteness from home, etc. Researchers found that people in stores or supermarkets mostly make purchases impulsively, without a preliminary plan or deliberation. A person notices something attractive that he would like to have, and if the price is perceived by him as acceptable, immediately makes a purchasing decision.

This strategy of finding an acceptable or "adequate" solution does not focus on optimizing the decision-making process itself: all that is required is to go through several possible solutions until one appears that is "acceptable."

These facts are theoretically generalized by the theorist of management G. Simon, already mentioned by us, in the concept of a satisfactory solution: people make satisfactory decisions due to the limited ability of people to process information. In his opinion, the world is inhabited by beings whose rationality is limited, and these creatures inevitably and constantly resort to strong simplifications when they face the need to make decisions on complex issues. The inherent limitations of man's ability to foresee the consequences of decisions made and to obtain information about all available alternatives make one hundred to be taken as a "suitable" any course of action that will ensure the improvement of the situation in comparison with the present. He wrote: "A person is not inclined to trouble himself with gathering information about all the factors that can influence the consequences of the choices made, assessing risks and setting priorities for all available alternatives. A person tends to rely on a radically simplified model of the noisy growing disorder that the real world consists of. "

Managers are often so scared of the uncertainty associated with a choice that seems best that they prefer to forget about it in favor of a more familiar, if not better choice, but associated with less anxiety or less likely to disapprove. Thus, following the principle of satisfaction does not exclude a large number of options, but they are examined in turn, and attempts to weigh the arguments "for" and against is not undertaken. When considering a solution proposal or an alternative, the manager asks: "Is this decision good enough to lead to satisfactory results?"

In the project management, a satisfactory (and not optimal, best!) solution is accepted for several reasons. They are:

• A shortened time frame for decision making and the danger of getting out of the project execution schedule in case of delay in decision-making;

• A desire to resolve this problem more quickly and move on to other issues that are no less significant for the end of the project;

• unwillingness to engage in detailed analysis, which requires more experience and high qualification, but due to the uniqueness of the project's work, the results of which may not be needed in the future;

• Delay in making a decision can be expensive, while making a satisfactory decision is already a step towards reaching the goal while the search for the best solution continues;

• If all alternatives have negative consequences, a satisfactory solution will enable not to choose the best from the worst, but to continue searching for a better alternative.

Many believe that a satisfactory solution, if not always desirable, is, at least, often necessary. Often, leaders delay decisions in anticipation of more information than they can get, which leads to a delay in making a decision and complicating the situation in which the organization is located. Sometimes they are afraid to accept the worst than the optimal solution.

The reason that executives make satisfactory decisions is limited rationality, which means that their thinking is limited, because the human mind is not able to distribute and rework too much information. Therefore, the one who makes the decision, tries to work with more or less limited amount of information. Instead of analyzing six or eight alternatives, the head can only consider two or three to avoid confusion. In essence, people think logically and rationally, but within fairly limited limits.

Limited knowledge opportunities, monetary constraints, lack of time, insufficient or excessive information, promiscuous information about competitors and ambiguous organization goals - all this leads to limited rational solutions. In Fig. 7.3 shows the reasons for the limited rationality.

Let's say that you have all the necessary information at your disposal. You should simplify and reduce the amount of information before you can use it. Otherwise, from excess information your brain can be overloaded. Since it is impossible logically and rationally

The mechanism for making a satisfactory decision

Fig. 7.3. The mechanism for making a satisfactory decision

consider so many details, you need to distribute them into groups that are more convenient for further consideration. Based on the simplified and reduced amount of information, you can take the "limited" solution.

This solution will most likely be a satisfactory solution, since it is impossible to take into account all the factors and it is possible to miss important factors and conditions that could lead to a better solution. However, the solution will still be adequate and under the circumstances.

Another approach to making adequate decisions was called the heuristic. People who make decisions recognize familiar features in the situations they encounter, and apply rules of suitable behavior that were previously tested in similar situations.

Studies show that experts often substitute for the encountered situation already familiar and operate in previously tested ways. Good chess players are able to calculate the development of the position for more moves forward than beginners, but their main advantage over newcomers is not in the depth of analysis, but in the ability to recognize the type of position and to find in their memory rules of action suitable for a position of this type. Although the actions of experienced vendors in the problem-solving process are less studied, they seem to be similar to the actions of experienced chess players. Another example of a heuristic approach: most people do not know how to calculate the probability of future events by analytical means. Nevertheless, they tend to use skilful hints of their own memory, telling them how often this or that event happened in the past. People use their own memory as a substitute for probability theory.


Decision-making procedures accompany the project from conception to completion. There are everyday (typical for everyday life) and administrative decisions (directly related to project management). Administrative decisions, in turn, are divided into expert (expert advice) and management (control actions).

Management decisions, depending on their novelty, creativity, innovativeness are divided into: 1) routine, 2) selective, 3) adaptive and 4) innovative.

Another classification of management project solutions implies a division into programmed solutions for which there are certain rules, algorithms, sequences of steps that provide a given result, and programmed ones that are not described by standard methods or a specified sequence of steps; they are characterized by a high level of uncertainty.

High quality of project solutions provides a rational approach - the process through which the project manager makes a decision impartially, based on logic and reasoning, by developing criteria and analyzing alternatives. It consists of eight steps: 1) awareness of the existence of a problem that requires solution; 2) identification of the problem (definition of its type, problem area); 3) development of alternatives (solutions) solutions, 4) development of criteria for evaluating alternatives; 5) evaluation of alternatives; 6) redefinition of criteria, if none of the alternatives meet the criteria; 7) choosing the best alternative; 8) implementation of the decision and control.

Solutions in project management are subject to the influence of personal factors and subjective rationality. The first means that the decision-making by the individual is largely determined by the type of temperament, pedantry or risk appetite, the particular perception of the surrounding reality. Examples of personal qualities influencing decision making are stereotypes (bias) and halo phenomena (attributing to the employee only positive or negative qualities only). The second means limiting the rationality to one person's frame of reference. In this case, different people, relying on rationality (logic, reasoning, common sense), come to diametrically different conclusions and solutions. Subjective rationality is particularly noticeable when evaluating alternatives.

The laborious task of finding optimal or best solutions is often replaced by people adopting "adequate" solutions, i. Those that, while not being the best, are rated as "satisfactory". Making satisfactory decisions saves considerable time for the whole decision-making process.

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