Do governors apply the analytical methods in the decision-making?

This post is also available in: Spanish

Because of professional reasons, I am becoming acquainted with a wide range of tools and methods used in decision-making, problems solving and the establishment of strategies processes in complex environments. Causal modelling, actor analysis, goal trees and means-end diagrams, problem diagrams, decision Support, score cards, etcetera [1] are the names of some of these methods and tools.

Besides its use in the management of any type of organizations, one of the main applications of these tools happens in the public infrastructures field, on which the public administration´s criteria have a huge influence.

That is why, when you depth into these kind of analytical methods and, at the same time, watch many decisions of the administrations in charge of a given field, a doubt arises: do governors really use these analytical tools? If so, do they apply them correctly?.

Source: see reference [2]
An iconic example comes to my mind: the public transport model of my born city, Zaragoza. During the 2000´s decade, there was a large “discussion” -if so can be called- on the city´s transport model. The curious thing was that, while a certain party supported the tram, other party supported a 7-lines subway network and the third party wanted to leave things are were.

If some analytical tools and methods had been applied during the decision-making process, the suggested alternatives had been more homogeneous and the dialogues had been focused on more constructive aspects. Nothing like this happened, and in 2010 the city-tram was launched, because the party supporting the tram governed the city in that time.

There are lots of cases like this, related to a wide range of public issues. You will for sure know someone.

The point is that, watching the consequences of many of the decisions of the Spanish governors, there is no evidence showing that they apply the proper analytical methods correctly -if they even do- in the decision-making processes, and many of their decisions are even today taken according to criteria very far from solvent systems.

Hopefully, this trend will someday change.

[1] ARAGON VALLEY. 11 nov 2014. New tools for the safety and health management (and other areas of organizations) Consulted 20 nov 2014.
[2] DE HAAN, Alexander, DE HEER, Pauline. 2012. Solving complex problems. Pg 126 (image).