Critical Decisions Made Easy With Bain’s RAPID® Framework

Business people planning


Decision making process is very important in every organization irrespective of its size and complexity. Though with excellent strategy, your business can get stuck with the lack of the right decision at the right time. The high-performer organizations can always take up the right decisions in a very little time. So, what are the qualities that can differentiate your organization from any other company? It’s the quick execution of the decision making process. The Bain & Company introduced RAPID framework, a particular tool for clarifying the accountability of critical decisions in organizations. The framework can be applied in fulfilling functions like, critical decision making, deployment and ownership.


An Idea of RAPID Framework

RAPID is basically an acronym that stands for the following.

(R)Recommend: This section involves all the people who create the proposals or the recommendations. The input providers can provide information to them and they can always negotiate with the people who agree.

(A)Agree: This group of people requires agreeing with the proposals provided by the recommend persons. They can modify the negotiations and can proceed with the dispute issues to the Decide persons.

(P)Perform: The performers will actually execute the process after performing the recommendations and will finally deliver the modified process.

(I)Input: This group of people will provide information and facts to the recommend groups. This will definitely maintain the risk and viability involved with the proposals.

(D)Decide: The person or persons involved in this group is accountable and in-charge for the whole execution process. They can resolve all the undisputed issues and make the commitment to the final changes.

From the whole process, we can easily understand that the process owner can be D, the manager of the process can be R, the A group can include all the stakeholders, customers, suppliers, and sub process managers, P can be the performers or the process delivery persons and the key process operators and business process analysts can be I. If all the processes can be clearly mentioned and assigned to all the people of the organization, the decision making process will definitely improve in terms of speed and accuracy with successful proposals.

How can you use RAPID in your Business?

Whether large-scale or small-sized, every business requires a right decision making process for success. There are some companies that use the RAPID throughout all the hierarchies in the business. It can be used to redesign the whole decision making process or can be focused on a single blockage in your business.

  • Local or Global: Every company is getting global nowadays. As they are obtaining the raw materials from one country, shipping somewhere else and doing the business throughout the world, the local presence is getting obsolete. The critical decision making process is required in creating the connections between the local and global managers. The decisions should not go extremely global or extremely local. There should be a thin line managing both of them equally. To perform the process with the right balance, the company must recognize all the sources of the real values and can take up the decisions depending on them.
  • Center or Business Unit: This is a big question whether the decision making should be in the business unit or in the main centers. If a huge number of decisions start flowing in the centers, the decision making process can definitely face bottlenecks. Therefore, the proper balancing activities are to be performed with all the managers of the business units and the centers. There may be cases where the small or the mid-sized organizations are being managed by a single leader only. Therefore, he or she will be the only person in the business unit who will be responsible for all the decisions taken for the organization. The issues can come into place when any senior executive changes the position, for example a new CEO has joined and the new successor is not following the previous decisions. With the change in the personnel, the decision making authority should also change in the centers.
  • Functions or Decisions: There can be a single function or a range of cross-functional decisions present in your organization. Different cross-functional teams can come across different decisions. For example, one team can think that it will be better to arrive at decisions irrespective of various functions, while another team may believe that the functional process, either right or wrong should be included in the decision making activities. The managers need to monitor whether the cross-functional roles are being carried on properly or not. He has to assign the decision making responsibilities at the right time to the right people.
  • In or Out Partners: You are required to decide whether you will work with only the inside partners or will include the outside partners in your decision making process. When you are taking decisions within your organization, it may seem an easy process. But, when several partner organizations come into scene, you cannot take a proper decision without the right strategy. For example, an US based company delivering your raw materials may decide to increase their production. The Chinese partners who are manufacturing the equipment may not be ready with the huge cost of production. Here comes the conflict. Now, the managers of both the companies are required to take up the critical decision and can pass through the obstructions.

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To Wrap Up

So, from the above article, we gain awareness about

  • The basic concept of the RAPID tool made by the Bain’s and what does it stands for.
  • The functions and benefits of this particular tool.
  • How your organization will be benefitted through RAPID?
  • What are the activities where RAPID can be used extensively?
  • Whether the decisions shall be based on local or global business, centers or business units, decisions based or functions based and whether dependent on the inside partners or the outside partners.

You need to decide how you want to use the tool in your business and then, proceed with the process.

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