Thoughts on Austhink bCisive for Structured Decision Making

I am a great fan of frameworks and strategies that simplify work and decision making processes. Hence my interest in tools like workflow software — for capturing an agreed way of doing things and helping people do what they’ve agreed accurately time-after-time-after-time. Ditto for decision making processes … how to think about a decision that you are facing, and how to capture and weigh up all of the options and ideas so as to make an effective decision.

Later this week, as part of my Melbourne (Australia) tour, I will be meeting the folks at Austhink Software, makers of software for business decision making and argument mapping. I did some pre-reading in anticipation of the meeting, and am pretty impressed with thinking behind bCisive. Here’s how Austhink describes what they do:

A step beyond mind mapping, decision mapping helps businesspeople streamline the decision process, improve collaboration and move more quickly to action through greater consensus. Argument maps help users comprehend, evaluate, produce and communicate complex reasoning on any topic, and are particularly useful in teaching and learning critical thinking and logic skills.

Now take a look at this screen shot from the bCisive Tour:

Like a mind map, bCisive enables you to lay out your thinking graphically, and to share that thinking with other people. But unlike a mind map, bCisive has offers a set of constructs to impose order on how your thoughts are organized, displayed, and communicated to others. bCisive offers a language to enable people to capture their thinking about decisions and differentiate between options, the analysis of options, supporting arguments, and more.

It’s not an either/or … both tools have their place for the right application. Mind mapping is a great tool for visual thinking and seeing the inter-relationship between ideas. bCisive, likewise, leverages the key ideas of visual thinking and combines it with a structured approach for making decisions in a more efficient way.

The bCisive software is Windows-only (at this time).

Do you use any tools like this in your work?

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