Limited rationality – let us be content with the ‘good enough’ decision!

2019 Blog, Other

In our earlier blog posts, we focused on creating a healthy balance between rational and emotional decision making. We consider offering a deeper introduction to the topic because the excessive rationality of the PLM concept brought it many a criticism, and some believe that using project management methods in private life is hazardous because it may potentially exclude feelings from decisions. In our previous post, we shared a few thoughts on aware decision making, to which the term of limited rationality is intimately related. This also aims to create a healthy balance.

From the perspective of economics, the rules of a proper decision seem simple. The decision-maker should aim to maximise their own profit, to know all the options, and their consequences, and finally, have conclusive goals, and preferences when evaluating. In other words: make rational decisions.

Those criticising this theory found it problematic, that taking all options into consideration is an unrealistically heavy burden for the individual, as listing all possible consequences requires enormous capacity and unnecessarily spent energy, not to mention the chance of becoming incapable of deciding while aiming to make the best decision is ever-present during the debate between the endless amount of solutions.

In order to solve this problem, we need to be satisfied with the ‘good enough’ decision, in other words, instead of aiming for the perfect decision, we need to try and make a sufficient one. During listing our options, if we find a good enough alternative satisfying our needs acceptably, if not perfectly, we might want to give up the search for the perfect solution, even if theoretically, a better one exists.