Decisions are meant to be revisited – particularly those made during a startup.

Decisions are interesting events.  They often come under time pressure for a resolution yet have on-going, lasting effects.  Decisions are made prior to really understanding the entirety of impacts that will be caused by the decision.  Yet often there is no mechanism to go back and reassess whether the decision was the right one, and if not, to fix it.

There is one particular series of events where the above scenario is most brutally clear: during the startup of a new venture (vendor relationship, technology system, product line, etc.).  When something new is undertaken the number of decisions that are needed go up dramatically because there is no track record to extrapolate from.  The impacts of these decisions is also almost completely unknown because it’s something new.

Today I am creating a new process for myself.  During any transition or startup period, calendar reminders are going to be setup that ask for decisions to be reassessed at either 6 or 12 months depending on the type of decision made.  The details of what was decided will be outlined and added to the reminder.  This will give me a process for determining whether something needs to change.

Why am I doing this?  In the past few months I’ve been at that 12 to 18 month mark with some new clients where the decisions that were made were a bit too limiting once the relationship was fully established and was holding back what could be done.  By reassessing we give ourselves the chance to make everyone more successful.  If we had simply kept doing what we were doing it would be fine but we’re not in the business for just fine.

What do you all think?