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Making a decision

Listen to a meeting in which colleagues make a decision to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Transcripts

Jani: Thanks for coming, everyone. So, we're here today to define the timeline for our new project.

Emiko: Yes, Jani, that's a great idea.

Carolina: OK. What do you need from us?

Emiko: Hold on a moment. I think we need to decide between us what to do, to make sure it works for all departments.

Jani: Yes, exactly, don't worry. We're going to discuss this and make a decision together. Let's first think about the scheduling of each project phase. What do you think, Emiko?

David: Can I interrupt? I think we should first be clear about the process we'll use to make the decision. How are we going to do it?

Jani: Ah, yes. Good point. Well, I think the best way is for each of you to give your opinion and then we can discuss and make a decision.

David: OK. That sounds good.

Emiko: Yes, that works for me too. I know we're still planning the structure of the later phases of the project, but I think we should begin phase one as soon as possible. We can work out the rest later, as we go along.

David: I'm sorry, I don't think so. How can we start phase one if we're not fully clear on where the rest of the project will take us? We might make a wrong decision and waste time.

Jani: I agree with you on that point, David. However, we'll waste too much time if we wait until everything is planned before we actually start working on the project. I think we should take an agile approach.

David: Agile approach?

Jani: Well, it means that we start quickly and then adapt as we go along.

Emiko: That's right.

Jani: Carolina, you've been very quiet.

Carolina: Um … I'm sorry. I didn't want to interrupt. I'm listening … and thinking.

David: Do you agree we should get the plan right first, and then start with phase one?

Carolina: I'm sorry, David. I don't think I agree with you. It's important to have a good plan. But plans can change, even the good ones – and business changes often. We need to be flexible, and we also need to move quickly.

Jani: OK. So should we take a vote?

Emiko: Well, you're the project leader. Let's go with your decision.

Carolina: Yes, I'll follow your lead, Jani.

David: Well, I guess that's decided then. We'll follow your agile approach, Jani. Start quickly and keep planning the later stages of the project.

Jani: Yes, that's right.

David: I still don't think this is the right decision, but I'm happy to go with the majority. We should add some space into the schedule later for additional work this 'flexibility' will need.

Jani: Don't worry, David, we will. OK, so it's decided then. We'll start phase one as soon as possible, and in the background we'll continue planning the later phases and adapt them as we go along.

Discussion

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Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

Where I'm working at the moment, the decision made after to read the majority team. My boss is very competent and he knows to give his opinion and to listen to other opinions about anything. In my company, peoples are more important and everybody know to make the better decision I think because they feel happy and security to telling about what they think.

When I was working my boss just give the order and I change everything with the aim to get a better performance and hand in the best results.

Where I work the decisions made according to the type of decision, sometimes the manager follow structured approach and agile approach in other times.

Our team leader discusses the best choice with all of us and after considering the suggestion from us, the team leader makes the best decision. So the main decision is made from Team leader, but we are free to add any ideas and to ask detail information about; how long the project will last, which is our role in the project and how much they are going to pay us for our job that has to be done.

Sorry, I thought the discussion was about management project approaches. About decisions , we used to discuss them first, share opinions about every suggestion, and if we failed to all agree on something, we ended up taking a vote.

When I was at university, we followed agile methodology when developing projects, because it was more effective and flexible. In software engineering, the customer doesn't often have clear ideas about what he needs, he might know the main features and objectives of the system he'd like, but his requirements may change throughout the project execution, that's why adopting an agile approach is the best decision in such a case.

I usually given my opinion and let my team Flexibility to make a decision, but almost my opinion being good for them.

It obviously depends on the situation. Of course, every company wants to have a plan before the project starts. You have to know what human and material resources you need to get the job done. And, clearly, you should know how long the project will last.
But, as usual, unpredictable situations happens. So, you need the plan, the good one, but no matter how good it is if you can't adapt it to the appeared conditions

Hello Kirk,
Now i don't work with another people. When I worked in a English Learning Course, we would make a meeting to take a decision. Our vital aims is to be induce new students to enroll to our course. In our meeting, generally the boss would explain our mission to reach to the goals. And then we could say something about the project and our tasks. Sometimes we could interrupt and add our thoughts. But mostly decision are made by boss and her close friends.

I work part-time at a drug store, so our owner usually decide a lot of things.
But in my college, we can decide almost things by ourselves, so we exchange our opinions, and make a majority decision.
I think to decide by majority is very easy, but to be influenced by majority is a little bad, so having own opinion is very important.

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