5 Questions to ask yourself when considering a compromise.

iphone-x-gallery1-2017Hey Crew,


So the other day something interesting happened to me, I was presented with a choice, a choice to wait for something or compromise and solve an immediate problem I had now.


To give you context, I had a poor performing iPhone that was impacting me greatly, I could have waited and replaced it with the iPhone X, or choose the iPhone 8 and have all my problems go away now.


I elected for the iPhone 8, but this really got me thinking about what I just compromised on…did I just make a decision based on instant gratification or did I compromise to achieve an outcome?


In the 1960’s a study was conducted by two gentlemen by the name of Walter Mischel and Ebbe Ebbesen (seriously couldn’t his parents think a little harder?..Ebbe…seriously?). Anyway! the study centred around giving some children the choice to either wait 15 mins and getting two eatable treats, OR eat the one that was in front of them then and there. The vast majority were able to wait past the immediate temptation, but only 200 odd kids out of the 600 who took part got to the very end and were rewarded with the second treat…


Now here is the thing, I knew about this test in the lead up to my decision and the thought of succumbing to the insta-gratification temptation that these kid were faced with was seriously playing with my head… BUT!!! and hear me out here, what the study didn’t take into account was if the kids were hungry. I bet that if they hadn’t had breakfast or lunch yet walking into that room, a few more of that 200 would have been tempted over to the dark side.


Although my temptation wasn’t hunger related, I was being starved and I needed instant relief.


This leads me to my discussion topic of “Compromise” and specifically how IT Departments within businesses must compromise every day. I feel for you guys/girls, honestly I do, you’re presented with offers and propositions that will knock your business problems out of the park….but often the challenge is it won’t solve the problem in a time frame that is acceptable to the key stakeholders, OR more likely, you’ll end up spending 98% of your yearly IT Budget doing it.


I was presented with an option, wait an undetermined amount of time and suffer, OR compromise and solve the problem now. I want to share with you the thought process I went through and the general factors I considered. Trust me when I say I Googled this stuff and there isn’t anything documented to help…I’m breaking ground here crew!


Here are some questions to consider:


  1. Can I apply the Pareto Principle aka. 80/20 Rule?
    • Am I getting at least 80% of the desired outcome from no more than 20% of what I am compromising on?
      • E.g. most of what is different with the iPhone 8 and X is the form factor so the answer to this was YES!


  1. Does the compromise come at a greater or lesser cost to the desired outcome?
    1. In my example it was at a reduced cost which made the decision easier. There are examples however where time being an influencing factor results in a greater cost.


  1. Is the problem I’m looking to solve so bad that waiting for the desired outcome is almost impossible?
    1. For me it was dire, my work and productivity were all being impacted.


  1. Can I influence or change a suppliers position to better effect my own desired outcome?
    1. In my case it was no, because they themselves were being influenced by a supplier. In some cases though you may find yourself able to influence a cost or timeframe by using leverage…pricing incentives or penalties etc.


  1. Is my desired outcome overstretching anyway?
    1. Was it too farfetched to begin with, in which case is the compromise the most ideal outcome to begin with?
      • In my case it was 100% overstretching, there was not something so defining about the X that meant I just had to wait for it.


After reviewing my decision these were the 5 factors that I considered to be most important in effecting the outcome of my decision. My hope is that you can use these thought provoking questions to better equip yourself and your team when faced with similar dilemmas in the future.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this 2nd blog instalment, don’t be shy, please feel free to comment and continue the discussion.





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