The Decision Making Process – Management and Chess

Earlier I wrote an article on ‘Chess and Management’ and my mentor GM Nigel asked me if I could do more on that. So I started thinking on which area I should write and surprisingly the topic I have chosen is ‘decision making process’. I am fully aware as a management guy but to be frank I was not using it 🙁 in my game while writing this article I decide to apply those management concepts in my game too after all its vice-versa.

The process is as follows:

Define the problem:
In business there are various problems like high employee turnover ratio, wrong marketing strategy, lake of coordination etc. Back to chess we are having same problem like which side of the board you should play? Because choosing wrong side you were no where? Are my pieces are coordinating with each other (if not improve piece position – decision)? So while making the decision first of all you should be aware that where actually problem lies.

Resources on hand:
To make best decisions a manager needs resources like manpower, money, machines etc while in chess we are having resources like space, time, manoeuvres, tactics, sacrifices and piece position, based on those resources we decide whether to attack (which wing) or to defend or to improve piece position.

Identify alternatives :
For example in business you are facing problem of reduction in sales which is due to wrong marketing strategy, now to improve on that you are having various alternatives like change in price, increasing the marketing budget, changes in advertisement. Similar way in chess you are having alternatives like to defend or to counter attack, play for endgame or complex middle game with unclear position if defending, defend with knight or queen etc.

Analyzing alternatives:
While analyzing the alternatives it can be done in different ways some possibilities are
• Can it be done – feasibility, I can defend if my knight in on f6 on next move but right now it is on a5.
• Pros and cons of each one
• Cost – benefit analysis (consequences)

Select the suitable alternative :
In both business and chess, after analyzing available alternatives we must choose the suitable one which produces more advantages with less disadvantages after all ‘ chess is generalized exchange’ I am not using best alternative as sometimes best alternative may not be obvious.

Implementing the decision :
Decision takers are paid to produce good results everyone involved with the decision must know his or her role for successful outcome as in chess decision is not a move but its series of moves so while implementing it you should be fully aware of role of each resources in order to produce a win (for example move order).

Flexibility is a key feature in chess and management decision making; in management you need to monitor ongoing actions (control and evaluation system) as you may need to change in decision based on current circumstances.

In chess everyone has his or her idiosyncratic way to make decision, same has the manager is having (personal opinion). This affects decision making process vitally. Ideally you should be rational while making decision, what I learn in management during my study any decisions taken, are based on captioned process which we are following consciously or unconsciously not 100% but up to some level.