Browse Definitions :
Definition

analysis paralysis

Analysis paralysis is a stagnation point that can occur in a decision-making process when stakeholders become over-involved in researching and evaluating options. When analysis continues beyond what is warranted for a given decision, the consequences can include wasted resources, reduced productivity, lost opportunities and failed projects.

Experts offer a number of tactics for avoiding or dealing with analysis paralysis, such as:

  • Limit the options. In researching product options, for example, start by identifying must-have features and eliminate options that lack them.
  • Evaluate the importance of a decision and set a realistic deadline accordingly.
  • Abandon perfectionism and adopt the idea that meeting requirements is adequate – accept that finding the absolute best solution is usually not necessary to get the job done.
  • Ensure that all those involved in analysis and the decision-making process are on the same page as to the crucial elements, the importance of the decision and the deadline for making it.

Barry Schwartz wrote about "paralysis" as a potential consequence of having too many options in his 2004 book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less. Rather than facilitating optimal decisions and satisfaction, as might be expected, Schwartz maintained that an abundance of options can actually lead to anxiety, indecision, paralysis and dissatisfaction.

The opposite approach can also be problematic, however. When people want to avoid the negative psychological effects of difficult decisions, they sometimes veer into over-impulsiveness, making snap decisions and settling on an option before sufficient thought has gone into the decision.

This was last updated in January 2019

Continue Reading About analysis paralysis

SearchNetworking
SearchSecurity
  • man in the browser (MitB)

    Man in the browser (MitB) is a security attack where the perpetrator installs a Trojan horse on the victim's computer that is ...

  • Patch Tuesday

    Patch Tuesday is the unofficial name of Microsoft's monthly scheduled release of security fixes for the Windows operating system ...

  • parameter tampering

    Parameter tampering is a type of web-based cyber attack in which certain parameters in a URL are changed without a user's ...

SearchCIO
  • chief procurement officer (CPO)

    The chief procurement officer, or CPO, leads an organization's procurement department and oversees the acquisitions of goods and ...

  • Lean Six Sigma

    Lean Six Sigma is a data-driven approach to improving efficiency, customer satisfaction and profits.

  • change management

    Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization's goals, processes...

SearchHRSoftware
SearchCustomerExperience
  • clickstream data (clickstream analytics)

    Clickstream data and clickstream analytics are the processes involved in collecting, analyzing and reporting aggregate data about...

  • neuromarketing

    Neuromarketing is the study of how people's brains respond to advertising and other brand-related messages by scientifically ...

  • contextual marketing

    Contextual marketing is an online marketing strategy model in which people are served with targeted advertising based on their ...

Close