The RAPID® Decision Making Model
Each success an organization achieves, every failure and each missed opportunity all be traced back to a decision or series of decisions made by the organization. Having a robust process is vital.
The RAPID® Decision Making Model is one such process. The RAPID Decision Making Model works by clarifying who should do what for each complex decision that needs to be made. The model was developed by Bain & Company. It’s an involved process so should be only be used for difficult or complex decisions.
A loose acronym for Input, Recommend, Agree, Decide and Perform, RAPID assigns owners to the five key roles in any decision.
Having clearly delineated roles enables organizations and teams to make the right choices—swiftly and effectively. The model works best when multiple people are involved in executing the result of the decision and is particularly useful when:
There are two or more functional units or teams involved.
Both global and local teams are involved.
One or more suppliers are involved.
The person(s) in this role recommends a course of action or present a series of options. They should use facts, figures, and research to develop their recommendation. You can think of this role as being the starting point for the process. A recommendation is proposed and the rest of the decision-making process flows from there.
These are the people who must agree with a recommendation before it can move forward. This group has the power to veto the decision if appropriate. It is important to keep this group to as few people as possible or decision making can slow down.
If they do veto the decision then they must negotiate with the Recommend role to adjust any recommendations until they are satisfied.
If a satisfactory alternative can’t be found then the issue should be escalated to the Decide role.
The Input role provides the foundation for good decision making. This role is consulted to provide hard facts, data, and evidence as input to a recommendation.
They will answer such questions as:
How long will the recommendation take to implement?
Are there any risks involved in the execution?
Are the key teams happy with the proposal as it stands?
When all of the options are on the table a decision must be made. This role is the decision maker and it should be a single person, and is usually filled by a senior leader. The decision maker delegates implementing the decision to the Perform role. They maintain responsibility for the work while it is under execution.
This role corresponds to the people who will perform or execute the decision.
Model Advantages: It gives all the key people a chance to be involved. You are more likely to achieve employee buy-in if you involve them in the process. You can even remove unhelpful people from the loop if necessary. It also ensures that decisions are made in a carefully considered manner, resulting in higher quality decisions, and makes it absolutely clear who is responsible for each part of the decision.
Model Disadvantages: To work effectively it requires the buy-in of the entire organization. It can slow down decision making and therefore is best for larger, more important decisions.
RAPID® is a registered trademark of Bain & Company, Inc.