Alignment Labs

Decision Making – Small Batches and Intuition

Decision Making – Small Batches and Intuition

I’m always looking to grow and an essential part of growth is learning new things. To aid in that process, I’ve have committed to read 20 business books this year. I just completed my third book, “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. I’ve noticed that different learning themes emerge from time to time. Lately, that theme has revolved around the process of decision making.

IMO, “The Lean Startup” is all about the process of making a good decision. As I see it, there are two components to making a good decision: (1) collecting the best data possible (2) grouping the data in a logical way to discover patterns (3) Making your decision

Small Batch Insights

One great insight I received from Ries was the concept of “small batches” (essentially devising a process where you’re able to collect the best data possible). To summarize, a “small batch” involves creating a product in as small of a batch as possible. For example, if you’re building something in assembly line fashion, the goal is to produce as few of the end products as possible. In doing so, you’re able to pick up on issues quickly without wasting a great deal of time or money. The book gives several examples of companies that used a small batch process to pick up on issues, improve quality, receive feedback and make corrections as quickly as possible.

Intuition Insights

The second insight I received from the book revolved around intuition. As an INTJ, I rely on my intuition quite a bit to make decisions. I’ve learned that this can actually hurt you and cause you to ignore new data. Ries reveals that our intuition can fool us at times. Using experiments or small batches can help to reveal problems which are often counter-intuitive.

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Comments (2)

  • Jose Tagle Reply

    I read a very interesting book called Decide & Deliver which establishes and interesting method of improving decision making within an organization. This book was published by Bain & Co. and unfortunately it only gives you a little taste, but the taste is good enough to implement some ideas.

    August 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm
    • John Boudreau Reply


      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog. I’ll definitely check out the book you’re referring to. I’m always looking to improve my decision making process and it’s great to get other points of view on the subject.

      Speaking of great books, I picked up the classic – “The Minto Pyramid Principle” recently. Great read.

      Thanks again,


      August 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm

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