What is Analysis Paralysis?

Sometimes the ability to make a decision eludes us. Most people suffer from it occasionally, but if you seem to have trouble on a regular basis, take a look at the reality of how it can affect you—and your projects—longer term. If you can relate to any of these analysis paralysis scenarios, consider trying some of the tricks we’ve put together (5-tricks-to-overcome-analysis-paralysis) to help you tackle the problem and get back on track.

You’ve developed numerous almost perfect solutions. You’re still gathering ideas and investigating options, but nothing seems to be a good enough fit.

Reality: Rarely does the perfect solution present itself. It’s much more common that Project Teams adopt imperfect solutions and then tweak them to better meet the project’s needs.

You’ve delayed the decision-making date. Your original date may have slipped significantly.

Reality: Follow-on activities may now be delayed, too. Serious challenges could arise if milestones are missed, and it’s likely you’ll have even fewer workable options later if the delay continues.

You’re preoccupied by the thought of making the wrong decision. You fear something awful will happen (being chastised by your boss, missing a promotion, maybe even losing your job) if you screw up.

Reality: You run a much higher risk of being disciplined if your continued indecision puts your project behind schedule or over budget than if you make a thoughtful, educated decision that turns out to be wrong.

You’ve avoided involving others in the decision-making process. The more they push you for a decision—and offer to help you evaluate available options—the more you hoard the final decision for yourself.

Reality: Others on your team can often provide useful insight or assist you in weighing the options. Their perspectives on the project are important, and could help point you to the right solution.

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