Pavel Nakonechnyy

GROW model for Decision Management

Published (updated: ) in Leadership and Soft Skills.

GROW model for Decision Management

During everyday work you may often face need to make strategic decisions. One of these decisions may be related to an issue with current process your team is using or a new project you’re starting. GROW technique was initially developed for coaching. However, I suggest you to try using it for making decisions when initiating projects.

The acronym GROW stands out for four stages: Goal, Reality, Options, Way Forward. This technique was developed at McKinsey and quickly adopted in the business world as it is simple and focuses on actions and outcomes. Most probably, you already use GROW but in the wrong order.

How to use GROW model:

Establish a goal. Make sure this is a SMART goal: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. When defining your goal, answer the following questions:

  1. What are the criteria of goal’s completion?
  2. Does this goal fit into bigger perspective? Will it help you or your organization achieve current objectives?

Examine current reality. During this step try to understand all important features of the situation you are in right now. What are advantages and disadvantages at the moment? Did anyone face issues you can solve with this project?

List your options. Brainstorm all the ways you can achieve stated goal. Try not to compare them before you list as many as you can and then answer these questions:

  1. Will this solution require new project or process?
  2. Who will be involved?
  3. What are the costs? How fast will you be able to implement this change?
  4. What are the advantages and downsides of each solution?

Decide on the way forward. What solution will you be taking? Describe it is a project you will be implementing. List all stakeholders, set up a track and a timeline.

All these stages can be done during one meeting or split across several. I use GROW technique for creating small projects in my everyday work as it is less time-consuming compared to full-fletched Project Management techniques. I recommend you documenting the process of using GROW. If you will use slides slides, you may want to list main points in 4 slides or split a screen in 4 sections for each part.

Instead of doing Decision-Management with GROW, you can use the model to help team members improve performance, and to help them plan for and reach longer-term career objectives.

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