Sense and respond is a type of practice that guides and informs quick decision making that is a requirement of the consumer collaboration community.  Any time that you are participating, coordinating or managing a framework that is subject to quick and discontinuous change you must incorporate a method that helps you to quickly react to surrounding circumstances and change and the sense and respond approach, in my opinion, is the most effective method.  There is a very important aspect of a sense and respond method you must keep in mind, the decisions are generally short lived and it is important that you keep this in mind as you are analyzing changing demands in making a decision.

This decision making process must be built on the foundation that the decision will be short lived and will require modifications or completely new decisions in a short period of time.  This means that your decision process cannot be allowed to take a very long time at all, you must quickly analyze the information at hand and then even more quickly make a decision.  It is very important though that you make a decision that can easily be built upon or quickly changed when new facts or additional changes warrant.  This is the key to the success of a sense and respond framework that your decisions are open and flexible to allow you to change and add new aspects to the decision without starting from square one.  You must maintain the process and practice that the decision while made in a very short time frame will also more than likely have a very short life span. 

There is an old saying; “I don’t want to know the history of forestry, I just want to know about this one tree”, and this is a very good model to utilize in making decisions in a very short period of time.  In other words your analysis should be very focused on one or a small number of questions and then the decision must be one that focuses on the response to the one or small number of questions.  Don’t let your decision making process expand to take into account more aspects than are necessary, expanding the decision and the process will only take longer and increase the risk of making a bad decision that then needs to be ripped out, taking you back steps and research that you can’t afford to do again and this is something that you just cannot afford.  You must always move forward and your decisions should move you forward to at least add more information for analysis and updates and revisions to your decisions and the community features and functions.

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?