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Decision Making

In many organizations, decision-making historically has been done by leadership teams in working sessions that are often influenced by position of authority and a variety of other reasons. Today, there are decision-making frameworks available to organizations that can defuse such unfair and often subjective decision-making outcomes. Tools, such as multi-objective decision analysis (MODA), can be applied where standard objectives can be used to rank priority actions, such as a capital improvement program (CIP) of work that can be agreed upon and weighted accordingly by the leadership team. Here, the MODA process can be applied annually to the CIP projects at hand.

In one organization, where there are both water and wastewater departments, the water department always appeared to have a more significant voice in the ranking of capital projects. Its top two or three projects always appeared at the top of the priority list, while the wastewater department’s projects always seemed to follow behind. In frustration, the wastewater department asked that a consultant come in and review various decision-making frameworks that could help establish an even playing field and help prioritize the right projects for the right reasons.

A MODA process was piloted and included representatives from water, wastewater, finance and other key stakeholder groups. Once the pilot was completed, and to their surprise, the wastewater group had the top three ranking projects and the water department’s projects followed. It was a great day for that company because now and moving forward, it had a robust decision-making framework that was agreed upon by the various key stakeholders and applied in a consistent and fair manner.

John Fortin

John Fortin is an asset management and reliability practitioner with over 28 years of facilities ‘lifecycle’ experience including design, construction and O&M. He has developed and implemented effective organizational change management programs required to implement a sustainable asset management culture. John provides a practitioner’s view to the client sharing his successes at designing and implementing the Facilities Asset Management Program for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority at the 1,000 million-gallon-per-day Deer Island Treatment Plant in Boston, MA. The award winning project resulted in reduced costs, increased reliability and availability, and a shift from reactive to proactive work practices. John is nationally recognized for his leadership in strategy development, implementation and change management approaches. He uses innovative techniques to provide sustainable change to client’s asset management improvement programs.

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