Truthsift Essentials: Proof Tree

Chaitra Baum

General Musings

Critical thinking and timely decision-making are crucial skills which are often overlooked in today’s workplace. The time commitment of everyday operations often leads to a lack of rigor and discipline when it comes to making well-thought-out decisions.

Decision-Making is a living event – companies are constantly making them. Whether it is a strategic business decision made by senior management, or everyday operational decisions made by mid-level managers, these decisions affect every aspect of the organization.  Organizations often ask themselves questions like: When should we bring in vendors for a new project? Should we use Instagram sponsorships or Facebook paid ads for our new campaign? What kind of discounts should we offer for the next three quarters on our website? Should we build our new plant in Manila or Hoh Chi Minh City? When is the right time to introduce our new product in China? Is the European Market ready for the next phase of our project? What are the top 10 projects for us to discuss at our next strategic planning meeting?

As businesses become more digitalized and thus more geographically diverse, operational decision-making becomes more cumbersome and complicated.

Gartner recently assessed that “Poor operational decision-making compromises upward of 3% of company profits.”  If we conservatively estimate that an organization has made 3000 such decisions annually, the cumulative cost of making poor decisions is billions of dollars lost each year.

Let me give you an example where I’ve encountered this in my own career – I was working for a Fortune 500 company, and as part of a new global initiative, the marketing group decided to overhaul their existing marketing landscape and introduce a new product that provided an end-to-end solution. The company chose a product requiring an excruciating implementation process. When the product was finally implemented, it was poorly received by end-users and eventually phased out of the company. The entire effort ended up costing the company upwards of $11 million dollars (not to mention the time and the effort spent). At the retrospective meeting, there was no paper trail available to look back and see how and why this product was even chosen. Corporate America is full of stories just like this, where bad decisions end up costing companies both money and morale!

Businesses must make an effort to stem this tide by leveraging a decision support system such as Truthsift. Truthsift allows users to engage and collaborate with each other by building a proof tree. A proof tree is a flowchart-style diagram with three parts: a. The root node, which is the decision you are trying to make, b. The leaf nodes, which are responses generated by users for the root node, and c. The branches, which are essentially the links connecting the root node to the leaf nodes.

Proof trees are extremely impactful. Having a clear visual like this allows teams to add their input/ comments and identify all of the details that might otherwise have gone overlooked. Plus, the structure of proof trees provides users with a step-by-step plan, so a series of actions is already identified for users to follow. This mitigates the risks that may come from of unforeseen circumstances. With Truthsift, a proof tree is created dynamically in real time; i.e., every time a user adds a comment within a leaf node, the root node changes to Tentatively Established (Agree or a ‘Yes’) or Tentatively Refuted (Disagree or a ‘No’).

How can you build a proof tree in Truthsift that will help your organization and its employees make better decisions?

  1. Identify the decision to be made.

You will start your tree diagram by entering your data (such as a business question) to the root node. For example, if your team is deciding whether to use Instagram sponsorship or Facebook ads for their next campaign, the tree will help you to assess the possible outcomes for each direction you take.

  1. Invite collaborators and have them add their input/comments.

Once you have added collaborators to the graph, have them add their input by replying to the root node. For example, if there are four collaborators, each can add a different leaf node.


  1. Have collaborators add feedback/additional input to other collaborators’ comments.

4. The root node gets updated whenever a new comment is added. (As seen below).

Benefits of Truthsift:

Distinctive Rating System: Truthsift never loses track. Discussions may be limitless within the leaf nodes, but Truthsift will always keep up, ensuring every comment is rated and that the rating is factored into the overall decision.

Fosters Collaboration: The platform allows team members to interact with each other in real time. This type of proactive analysis allows businesses to stay on top of their decisions.

Helps Mitigate Risk: Having the visual provided by a decision tree helps you to include more potential actions and outcomes than you might have versus conversations alone. This means mitigating the risks of unforeseen circumstances and their consequences. Plus, the diagram allows you to include smaller details and create a step-by-step plan. Once you’ve chosen your path, it’s already laid out for you to follow.

Open API: Truthsift’s open API means it will easily integrate with any existing system without having to re-invent the wheel.

Top Use Cases for Truthsift
After building this product, we’ve piloted in several different spaces.
– Digital Marketing Firm finalized their logo
– High School Students making college decision
– Startup was able to decide on Marketing Strategy for a Product Launch
– VP of Engineering was able to streamline candidate selection process for hiring @ startup

Of course, Truthsift is not restricted to just these, as possibilities are endless!

In closing, a reliable solution for unbiased decision-making is long overdue. Organizations often make ad-hoc decisions in an attempt to be fast and efficient, but this approach is frequently flawed and filled with pitfalls that end up costing companies millions of dollars. In an ever-changing digital landscape, allow Truthsift to simplify your business decision making. Make more confident and educated decisions backed by data and not just intuition.




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