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Synopsis

61% of leaders complain about ineffective decision-making processes. Bain's RAPID Decision-making Model proposes a process for effective decision-making and delivery. The key roles involved are: Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, and Decide. Use this presentation to sequence the relationship between stakeholders and ensure that responsibilities are clearly defined and achievable.

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The RAPID model can be used to improve decision-making in a team setting by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of each team member. This model assigns roles such as Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, and Decide to different individuals, ensuring that each decision-making process is efficient and effective. By sequencing the relationship between stakeholders, it ensures that responsibilities are clearly defined and achievable, leading to improved decision-making.

To use the RAPID model effectively, it's important to clearly define and understand the roles of Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, and Decide. Each stakeholder should know their responsibilities. The model should be used to sequence the relationship between stakeholders. Regular communication and feedback are also crucial for the model's effective implementation. It's also important to be flexible and adapt the model as needed based on the team's dynamics and the project's requirements.

The RAPID model facilitates effective delivery in a business by providing a clear process for decision-making. It defines key roles and responsibilities, ensuring that all stakeholders are involved and their tasks are achievable. This helps in streamlining the decision-making process and improving the overall efficiency of the business.

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Slide highlights

The RAPID decision-making matrix designates tasks across key leadership, product teams, and external resources.(Slide 8)

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A RAPID team matrix assigns roles so decisions flow freely as teams synchronize without friction. (Slide 10)

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A RAPID meeting checklist clarifies the decision that the meeting aims to reach, and how it will be communicated to stakeholders.(Slide 16)

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The best practices for using the RAPID model in meetings include: assigning clear roles to team members to ensure smooth decision-making, using a RAPID team matrix to designate tasks across leadership and product teams, and using a RAPID meeting checklist to clarify the decision that the meeting aims to reach and how it will be communicated to stakeholders.

The RAPID model supports decision-making in large organizations by designating tasks across key leadership, product teams, and external resources. It assigns roles so decisions can flow freely as teams synchronize without friction. Additionally, a RAPID meeting checklist clarifies the decision that the meeting aims to reach, and how it will be communicated to stakeholders.

When implementing the RAPID model, key considerations include assigning tasks across leadership and product teams, ensuring decisions flow freely without friction, and clarifying the decision that the meeting aims to reach and how it will be communicated to stakeholders.

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Outcome

Companies that excel at decision-making grow 5.5 times more profits before taxes and return 4 times more to shareholders than those that don't.

Today's changing world means your business needs to be more focused, decision-driven, and innovative than ever before. Empower your team to make better decisions with Bain's RAPID Framework. And for more resources like this, check out our Bain's Management Toolkit (Part 1) and Bain's Management Toolkit (Part 2).

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Application

Introduction

The RAPID system assigns roles to team members to clarify and speed up the decision-making process. First, determine "What" needs to be decided and assign "Who" will play each role. From there, the how and when will clarify the tasks and corresponding timeline. For example, say you need to make a decision on whether to launch an upcoming marketing initiative. You need to greenlight whether or not you're going forward with the promotion before you can decide who will lead the endeavor, how it will be enacted, and when it will be launched.(Slide 2)

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Alternatives to the RAPID decision-making model include the Vroom-Yetton-Jago Decision Model, the OODA Loop, the Stepladder Technique, and the Consensus Decision-Making Model. Each of these models has its own unique approach and can be more suitable depending on the context and the nature of the decision to be made.

The RAPID model helps in conflict resolution within a team by assigning clear roles to team members, which speeds up the decision-making process and reduces potential conflicts. By determining what needs to be decided and who will play each role, it provides a clear structure and direction, reducing ambiguity and potential conflicts over responsibilities and tasks.

The potential challenges in implementing the RAPID decision-making model could include: difficulty in assigning roles, resistance from team members to assigned roles, lack of clarity in decision-making process, and potential delays in decision-making due to the need for consensus or approval from multiple parties.

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Five key roles

RAPID divides the decision process among five key roles:

The Recommend role makes a recommendation for a decision. This person gathers the relevant facts and provides analysis.

The Agree role determines if a recommendation makes sense, or escalates disagreements on certain recommendations when necessary.

The Perform role executes the decision once the decision has been made, and is accountable for ensuring the decision is brought to fruition.

The Input role provides their feedback with critical expertise, experience, or additional information that helps develop recommendations. Inputs usually need to be consulted before a decision is made.

The Decide role makes the final decision and commits the organization to action. With a single decider, there is a single point of accountability, which speeds up decision-making.(Slide 4)

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Decision-making process

There are three steps to the RAPID decision-making process: pre-decision, in the action, and upon decision. In the pre-decision phase, select the key decision-maker and pinpoint the topic of decision. You will also gather recommendation inputs during this phase. For instance, if you are trying to decide your next product to launch, select key decision-makers and recommenders who will pitch proposals to the decision-makers.

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The RAPID model is often used in business settings. For example, a company deciding on its next product launch might use the RAPID model. The key decision-makers would be selected, and they would gather recommendations and proposals from various team members. After considering all the inputs, they would make a decision on which product to launch next.

The RAPID model can be used to improve team success by clearly defining roles and responsibilities in the decision-making process. This model helps in reducing confusion and conflicts, and ensures that everyone on the team knows their role and what is expected of them. It also helps in making the decision-making process more efficient and effective, leading to better decisions and improved team performance.

In the RAPID decision-making model, gathering recommendation inputs is a crucial part of the pre-decision phase. Some strategies for gathering these inputs could include conducting surveys or interviews with key stakeholders, analyzing market trends and customer feedback, and reviewing past decisions and their outcomes. It's also important to select key decision-makers and recommenders who will pitch proposals to the decision-makers. These individuals should have a deep understanding of the topic at hand and be able to provide valuable insights.

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During the in-action phase, present and discuss the facts, then debate and decide on the best decision. The input and agree roles are important here, and should be relevant to the final decision. For instance, you'll want input from creative, sales, and marketing teams on whether a new product is worth the investment. But it will ultimately be up to other roles, for instance, the executive team to make the final decision.

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Once you have agreed on the decision taken, assign execution roles and commit your organization to the action. Hold yourself accountable to ensure there's appropriate follow-through.(Slide 10)

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RAPID process

A simple overview of the RAPID process is as follows: The need for a critical decision is identified. The Recommend role determines who the Decision role will be, then the Recommend and Decision roles determine any other stakeholders and assign their roles. Recommend prepares their proposal, gets feedback from the Input role, then discusses their initial proposal with the Agree role. With input and agreement from the corresponding roles, Recommend takes their proposal to Decision. Decision then decides and communicates the action for the Perform role to execute.

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So for example, let's say you identify a workflow issue at your office. The graphic design team is backlogged and needs more of a runway to finish deliverables on time.

Determine who needs to make the decision on the solution, in this case, the project manager who assigns and schedules graphic design's timeline. Work with them to decide who will provide input and need to agree with your proposal. In this case, you'll need input from graphic design on what's a more reasonable runway, and agreement from the sales team so they can retool their promises to clients. Once you've identified the roles, workshop your proposal with the key stakeholders until you come up with the right solution, then take that to the decision-maker.

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For instance, the decision could be a new three-week turnaround window for each new project should be enough to not get backlogged, and a new hire could provide a more sustainable, long-term solution. Management then decides whether or not to greenlight this proposal, and then commit the organization to the change. (Slide 7)

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"Recommend"

When assigning roles, it's important to only have one Recommend role. This role will have broad visibility and access to the most relevant information so that they can make the best recommendation possible. This is important both for Recommenders who propose solutions or initiatives, and Deciders who assign Recommenders to ensure a successful decision process. Without a good recommendation, it's impossible to make a good decision. (Slide 11)

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"Agree"

In contrast, Agree roles should be assigned sparingly. They are the most useful for situations where a legal or regulatory decision needs to be made, as these decisions will require external sign-off before moving forward. Also, keep in mind that Agree roles can veto the Recommend's ideas, but the Decision-maker is still the sole decider.

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If Agree changes their mind after an initial agreement, it becomes too late to change their mind. However, if an Agree role is assigned, they can't be ignored by the Recommend role. If they can't agree on a recommendation, then the Decider breaks the deadlock. (Slide 12)

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"Perform" and "input"

While the Perform role is the least consequential to the decision-making process, the one executing an action typically will also have an Input role. In the case of our graphic design example, the creative team should be an Input as they are uniquely qualified to provide guidance on what is and is not a realistic solution.

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Those with knowledge, experience, or access to resources that are critical to the decision should also be consulted for Input. However, the number of Input roles should be limited to ensure a timely decision is made.(Slide 13-14)

Once the decision is made, an execution progress bar can create accountability and help keep an organization's commitment to the said decision in check. For more resources like this, check out our Task Tracker deck.

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