Budgeting and Forecasting, Rethinking Budgeting

The Decision Architect

Image from GFR

Organizations benefit from decision architecture. Budget officers can be the decision architects of local government by building on four job responsibilities that allow them to reduce the impact of well-known problems of bias and noise in human decision processes.

Government leaders make decisions for a living. With good decision-making, they can greatly improve the lives of their constituents and further their own careers. But decision-making is messy. It is often done by groups, so there are conflicting points of view. It is usually time constrained, so there isn’t time to consider everything. There is always uncertainty, usually more than we realize. And it is done by humans, so it comes with the myriad well-documented cognitive biases and inconsistencies (i.e., “noise”) in human thought.

Budget officers are positioned to help government officials reduce the negative impact of bias and noise in decision processes. Helping people avoid bias and noise is sometimes called “decision architecture.