by: Asim Abbasi
There is a famous saying,
“All is well that ends well.”
So even if I teach you the art of making wise decision, there is a chance that your decision will end up in a failure. But if you master this art, it will help you in reducing the factor of making wrong decision. The model, which I will explain, is “Adaptive” in nature. If you have Electrical Engineering background you must be familiar with “Adaptive Filter”. For Layman consider “Adaptive Filter” as a machine having ideally zero efficiency the time it was designed but once you put that machine in a real working environment its efficiency will increase and a time will come when it would be working ideally at 100% efficiency. Regular machines are designed for specific environment but adaptive machines are designed for all environment. Regular machines efficiency is ideally 100% and it deteriorates with the passage of time where as the adaptive machines efficiency is ideally 0% and it increases with the passage of time.
The art I am going to explain to you is based on two things
- Adaptive-Decision-Making-Model (ADMM)
- Optimizing the working of Brain
This art is applicable to every walk of life wherever this is decision making is involved or getting the most optimal solution for a problem. Before moving ahead I want to explain what’s meant with “optimal solution”. Back in school days, from mathematics I have learnt that every problem has one answer (solution), simplest example would be 2+2 is always equal to 4. Contrary to this concept, in real life one problem might be having numerous solutions. Let me give you the analogy of computer programming. If you have to achieve certain target, you can do it by writing 5000 lines of code. An experienced programmer can achieve the same target by writing less lines of code e.g. 4500 or even 2000. So for every problem in real life there could be numerous solutions and our job is to pick the most “Optimal Solution”. And selecting the most optimal solution is called “wise decision making”
When a average person encounters a problem he will take the decision right at the spot utilizing the knowledge he has in his mind. On the other hand, an intellectual person will handle the problem in the following manner:
- He will first analyze/understand the problem. Then, he will write down the target. Writing down the target is very important and that’s why I would like to use the word “engrave” rather than “write down”. So, he will, “engrave the target/goal on a rock.”
- Then he will try to figure out the time frame he has to solve the problem.
- Then he will lay down all the possible sources he has to solve the problem, for example if he is an Electrical Engineer and he has been given the task to design some circuit, the possible sources of input for him will be:
- His Own Knowledge
- His Professors
- Books, etc.
- He will then follow the ADMM to end up in “most optimal solution” during that time frame.
Note the following are optional steps:
- Next he will divide the solution to modules and for each module he will write the steps of implementation. For dividing the optimal solution into modules or steps of implementation he may follow the ADMM again.
- Next, he will assign those modules & steps of implementation to related departments.
- The manager of each department will give him feedback regarding the progress. There are lots of web based project management tools using those the project director can watch the progress of the modules assigned to each department as the managers of those departments are constantly updating the progress. As it is web based so no one has to move from his chair and it is universally accessible.
I have also heard people saying, “There is no solution to this problem.” Or “That’s the only solution to this problem.” I always explains to my students that
“There is no ‘No’ to anything.”
If you don’t know something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And, if you are a solution provider, always add one statement at the end of your solution, “That’s the best I can give with the knowledge I posses.” If you don’t want to write it down, keep this in mind.
The smiley as shown in the diagram represent problems. These problems could be anything relating to any aspect of life. Lets suppose we got the first problem at time t1. The first thing we have to do when we encounter a problem is to understand the problem. As shown in the figure we are spending time (t1 to t2) in analyzing the problem. This duration could be 1 minute or 1 month depending upon the complexity of the problem.
Once you have understood what the problem is, the next step is to write down the problem in words and the possible sources of input to the model. At t2, use your own knowledge to generate all possible solutions for that problem and give them preference. First, will be what you consider the optimal solution at t2. How truly someone has said,
“Let the ball rolling.”
“Lets see how the cat jumps.”
“Let the time take the decision.”
With the passage of time many options will appear redundant clearly. So at t4 you set of options will squeeze down to three also you must have noticed that the preference is not the same as it was in the beginning. At t6, you got input from one of the sources as mentioned above which resulted in expansion of options and may be change in the preference too. Again with the passage of time many options will appear redundant clearly. Just before t8, we would be having less number of options with preference and finally at t8, we will take the decision by selecting option 1 as “most optimal” solution for the problem.
Always remember the solution you will end up with at t8 would be the best possible solution ever possible utilizing all your mental power and available sources. Following this model will help you in reducing the factor of ending up in a wrong decision.
At t1 This is the time when you encounter the problem
t1 – t2 Analyze/Understand the problem
Just Before t2 Engrave the “Target/Goal”. Write down all possible sources of Input to the model
At t2 Start writing down all the possible solutions. Give them preference.
t2 – t3 Preferences may change
t4 Some options will appear unwanted clearly
t5 Preferences may change
t5 – t6 May get input from other sources
t6 Start writing down all the possible solutions. Give them preference.
t6 - t7 Preferences may change
t7 - Just Before t8 Squeeze the options by dropping the least preferred solutions
t8 Most Optimal Solution
Once you have the optimal solution, the next step is optional i.e. Once we have the most optimal solution, the next step is to divide the solution into “modules” and for each module write down the steps of implementation.
Depending upon the problem you may have to follow ADMM again for each module. Like I said, time line could be of 1 hour or 1 year depending upon the complexity of problem and the time duration you have, end of which you have to take decision.
Optimizing the working of Brain
To get the most out of ADMM we have to optimize the working of our brain and to do so we have to first understand the logical architecture of brain.
- Understanding the logical architecture of brain
- Working of brain
- Best Practices
Human beings are supreme creations amongst all the creations of God. They are considered supreme because of the architecture or more precisely the logical architecture of the brain that we have is different from His other creations. Human Brain the center for activities, emotions, relations, reactions, anxieties, happiness, grief, in short everything, is the center processing unit in a body. Its just like microprocessor of the body. The physical architecture of all human beings resembles but its the logical architecture which makes one Einstein and other me. The following picture give you the logical architecture of the Brain. I made this picture with the best of the knowledge and experience I have in my mind.
I felt it necessary because someone was right when he said, “A picture is better than thousand words.” In the following lines I am going to explain the picture or in other words the logical architecture of brain.
As I mentioned before, the physical architecture of human brains resembles i.e. two hemispheres packed with winding/curly tubes. On the other hand the logical architecture of brain can be divided into following three sections
- Database Inside Brain
- Sources of Input to Brain
Every person has data/information residing in his/her brain and by the time child comes into the universe its size was very small but with the passage of time its size increases. In this database the information is residing in the form of “Categories”.
A person who is an electrical engineer, his category of electrical engineering information must be having lots of pages compared to his knowledge about medical stuff. Similar if a person is a doctor, his categories of medical information must be having lots of data in it compared to his knowledge about electrical stuff. Similarly, we all have certain categories in common e.g. food categories. Every one has data relating to food in their mind like taste of different fruits, smell of different dishes, deserts, recipes of make different food etc.
One interesting category in database is ‘Experience’. There are many things we learn through experience; also we get the experiences from the life of other people. Its because of this category that a person who did PhD in any field might end up in a wrong decision compared to his father who did just BS but has experience more than the PhD guy’s age. This reminds me something, once an author said,
“By the time a man realizes that his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks that he is wrong.”
Always remember that in the implementation of ADMM one of the great sources of input would be the old/experienced people around you.
Processes on the other hand helps in the improvement/update, addition & deletion of information in the database based on all sources of inputs that are coming to the brain from all these five sense mentioned in the diagram e.g. experience process helps in the improvement and addition of information in the ‘Experience’ category in the brain.
One of our best practices is to increase the size of this database by consuming all the inputs we have and my suggestion would be to make the most use of “ear” than “tongue”. The cause of many problems is “tongue” and once an author said,
“The tongue says: you take me out of mouth and I will take you out of xyz.”
If you are married and if your wife owns the home in which you are living than you can replace ‘xyz’ with the word ‘home’.
About The Author
Mr. Abbasi is President and CEO of Takveen, Inc., which is firm providing technology related "Optimal Solutions" to industry. He is also President and CEO of RecruitOfficeDB.com T which is ASP (Application Service Provider), providing services to improve the process of recruitment/hiring/staffing by utilizing the power of internet in reducing time to hire, cost of hire and centralized world wide business management solution. Presently, working on RLAS (Report Library Automation Server: SCTBanner Oracle DB, IIS, ASP, JScript etc.) project with UMDNJ (Uni. Medicine & Dentistry of NJ).
He is also an IT Instructor with three top-notch computer schools of NJ (Career Vision, Inc, Xincon Technologies, Inc, Computer Professionals Learning Center CPLC, Inc.) teaching Oracle in Unix/NT environment, A+, Web development, Networking etc. He has also taught Mathematics/SAT to High Schools students at Huntington Learning Center, Inc., NJ. In North Carolina, he taught at CompuCert, LLC; Oracle Certified Professional DBA Oracle 8.x track in Win 2000 Server environment as a part-time IT-Instructor. Back in Pakistan, he was Lecturer/Lab Manager (Telecommunication Lab) in CASP (Center for Advanced Studies in Physics), Government College University, Lahore (www.gcu.edu.pk)
Before coming to NJ, he was Chief Technologist at Integrated Product Development Solutions, Inc in Cary, North Carolina: End-to-End Business Solution Provider, company lead by Ex-VP of IBM. Prior to that he worked as Chief Programmer with YesToNet: US based multi-national software development company. He also worked as Freelancer software & computer based automation system designer under the name, "Asim Creations". Uptill now he has developed 28 projects relating to software: web development (ASP, JScript, VBScript, HTML, VB, Flash etc.), Client-Server Environment software development, INTRANET/EXTRANET based software development N-Tier, Distributed Computing software development, ActiveX Controls/DLL Designing, database (Access, Oracle, SQL Server) etc. and Electrical Engineering Interfacing(controlling devices thru computer: wired/wireless/internet), computer based process automation hardware designing etc. To see the list of project and detail: www.geocities.com/eingenuity
He filed US patent regarding system and method for controlling devices wirelessly using protocol based communication through voice. The patent is published, visit: www.uspto.gov to see details about the project. His expertise has been recognized by news media through their newspapers, 'The Dawn' (www.dawn.com) and 'The News' (see the scanned pictures at www.geocities.com/eingenuity under the link "In the Press". His series of lectures on 'Art of Designing Video Games' & 'Wonders of Visual Basic' had published by Khwarzimic Science Society (www.khwarzimic.org). The has written lots of technical articles and has solved numerous computer problems relating to software programming and electronics in different online forums.
Mr. Abbasi did B.Sc. Electrical Engineering from University Of Engineering & Technology, Lahore, Pakistan (www.uet.edu.pk) in 2000. He is Oracle Certified Professional Database Administrator (OCP), Microsoft Certified Professional VB (MCP), Brainbench Certified Professional (ASP, Flash, HTML, VBScript, E-Commerce, Computer Hardware) and has done A+ Certification.