“Analysis Paralysis – A Case of Terminological Inexactitude”

Winston Churchill “coined the expression “terminological inexactitude”— a play on words alluding to the misapplication of labels and, by extension, the damage that can be done by engaging in this practice,” says Lon Roberts in this very interesting article published in the current issue of Defense AT&L.

The term “analysis paralysis,” says Lon, is an example of this condition. By understanding the specifics of the different kinds of analysis paralysis, managers can better guide projects through the analysis quagmire.

 


 

 

We’ve all encountered (or been the victim of) analysis paralysis, the inability to make a decision because of seemingly never-ending sources of information to be analyzed. Roberts breaks analysis paralysis into three kinds of paralysis:

  1. Analysis Process Paralysis
  2. Decision Precision Paralysis
  3. Risk Uncertainty Paralysis

In the article, he briefly examines each (apparently being cautious not to fall into his own analysis paralysis trap) and provides suggestions for managers for dealing with each in their own teams.

This is an insightful article (and at times I thought perhaps my past decision-making efforts were part of his case study) and at only three pages of text, a very direct and interesting read.

Last year, I produced a podcast with Lon before he spoke to the Fort Worth Human Resources Management Association about multitasking. You might want to listen to that podcast, as well.

Here’s the link to Lon’s current article:

http://www.dau.mil/pubscats/ATL%20Docs/Jan-Feb/robersts_jan-feb10.pdf

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