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The Decision Stack

The Decision Stack

A presentation on the decision stack needed in product management - from setting a clear product vision, through strategy, to objectives, and principles. At each step clarity helps you and your team make better decisions, faster.

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Martin Eriksson

May 22, 2019
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  1. THE DECISION STACK CONNECTING THE DOTS FROM VISION TO ACTION

    @BFGMARTIN
  2. @BFGMARTIN @bfgmartin

  3. @BFGMARTIN 25+ YEARS 200+ CITIES 500+ INTERVIEWS 70+ STARTUPS

  4. HOW DO WE KNOW IF WE’RE BUILDING THE RIGHT THING?

    @BFGMARTIN
  5. WHAT SHOULD WE DO? WHY ARE WE DOING IT? HOW

    ARE WE DOING IT? @BFGMARTIN
  6. DECISIONS @BFGMARTIN

  7. DECISIONS DECISIONS DECISIONS DECISIONS DECISIONS DECISIONS @BFGMARTIN DECISIONS DECISIONS DECISIONS

    DECISIONS DECISIONS DECISIONS DECISIONS DECISIONS DECISIONS DECISIONS DECISIONSDECISIONSDECISIONSDECISIONSDECISIONSDECISI DECISIONS
  8. @BFGMARTIN DECREASE DECISION OVERLOAD

  9. @BFGMARTIN INCREASE DECISION VELOCITY & QUALITY

  10. @BFGMARTIN VISION STRATEGY THE DECISION STACK OBJECTIVES OPPORTUNITIES OBJECTIVES NO

    NO NOT DOING THIS NOT DOING THIS NO NO PRINCIPLES OPPORTUNITIES NO NO
  11. Decisions from latin: decidere “to cut off" @BFGMARTIN

  12. @BFGMARTIN VISION STRATEGY THE DECISION STACK OBJECTIVES OPPORTUNITIES OBJECTIVES How?

    How? How? Why? Why? Why? PRINCIPLES How? Why? OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES
  13. @BFGMARTIN VISION THE DECISION STACK OBJECTIVES OBJECTIVES How? Why? Why?

    PRINCIPLES ??? OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES
  14. None
  15. VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES @BFGMARTIN DECISIONCEPTION VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES OBJECTIVES VISION

    STRATEGY OBJECTI O O OBJECTI O O VISION STRATEGY OBJECTI O O OBJECTI O O
  16. @BFGMARTIN VISION STRATEGY BUILDING YOUR DECISION STACK OBJECTIVES OBJECTIVES PRINCIPLES

    OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES
  17. WHY @BFGMARTIN VISION

  18. @BFGMARTIN “TO BE THE LEADING PRODUCT COMMUNITY IN THE WORLD”

    MIND THE PRODUCT - 2015
  19. @BFGMARTIN “TO MAKE PRODUCT PEOPLE MORE SUCCESSFUL BY COMING TOGETHER

    TO FURTHER OUR CRAFT” MIND THE PRODUCT - 2018
  20. 75% OF VENTURE BACKED STARTUPS FAIL NUMBER 1 REASON? LACK

    OF FOCUS HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL @BFGMARTIN VISION = FOCUS
  21. @BFGMARTIN VISION = MOTIVATION “TO MOTIVATE EMPLOYEES BEYOND BASIC TASKS,

    GIVE THEM AUTONOMY, MASTERY, AND PURPOSE - THE DESIRE TO DO SOMETHING THAT HAS MEANING AND IS IMPORTANT.” DANIEL PINK - MIT & THE SURPRISING TRUTH ABOUT WHAT MOTIVATES US
  22. @BFGMARTIN VISION = MOTIVATION “WE NEED MISSIONARIES, NOT MERCENARIES” JOHN

    DOERR - KLEINER PERKINS
  23. @BFGMARTIN VISION = ALIGNMENT

  24. @BFGMARTIN VISION TO BE THE (LEADING/BEST) (PROVIDER/SUPPLIER) OF (CUSTOMER FOCUSED/MARKET

    DRIVEN) (SOLUTIONS/PRODUCTS/SERVICE)
  25. @BFGMARTIN VISION THERE IS NO FILL-IN-THE-BLANK VISION STATEMENT

  26. @BFGMARTIN GOOD VISION ▸ Is customer-centric ▸ Is concise and

    clear ▸ Sets an audacious goal ▸ Avoids detail
  27. @BFGMARTIN BAD VISION ▸ Is company centric ▸ Doesn’t tackle

    challenges ▸ Sets you up for bad strategy
  28. @BFGMARTIN “Our vision is to create a better everyday life

    for many people.” IKEA “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)” NIKE “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy” TESLA “To help bring creative projects to life.” KICKSTARTER “A world without poverty.” OXFAM
  29. HOW @BFGMARTIN PRINCIPLES

  30. @BFGMARTIN PRINCIPLES VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES OBJECTIVES PRINCIPLES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES

    OPPORTUNITIES
  31. @BFGMARTIN “IT’S NOT HARD TO MAKE DECISIONS WHEN YOU KNOW

    WHAT YOUR VALUES ARE.” ROY E. DISNEY - DISNEY
  32. @BFGMARTIN “Job Seekers come first - Recruiters will follow” MONSTER

    “Focus on the user and all else will follow” GOOGLE “Put merchants first” SHOPIFY “Conversion trumps profitability optimisation” KLARNA
  33. @BFGMARTIN PRODUCT PRINCIPLES DESIGN PRINCIPLES VALUES ▸ Framework for decision

    making ▸ Should help all the tiny decisions you and your team have to make every day ▸ Specific, actionable “rules” ▸ Manifestation of your vision
  34. @BFGMARTIN EVEN OVER STATEMENTS Get specific about the trade-offs: ▸

    Conversion even over revenue ▸ User growth even over revenue ▸ Mobile experience even over desktop
  35. @BFGMARTIN EVEN OVER STATEMENTS Recognise these? ▸ Individuals and interactions

    over processes and tools ▸ Working software over comprehensive documentation ▸ Customer collaboration over contract negotiation ▸ Responding to change over following a plan
  36. @BFGMARTIN GOOD PRINCIPLES ▸ Make decisions easy ▸ Describe how

    you want to build your product ▸ Are specific to your company ▸ Are easy to remember ▸ Evolve over time
  37. @BFGMARTIN BAD PRINCIPLES ▸ Are meaningless fluff ▸ Everyone wants

    to make products “delightful” ▸ Don’t differentiate you
  38. @BFGMARTIN INCREASE DECISION VELOCITY DECREASE CONFLICT & DEPENDENCIES PRINCIPLES

  39. WHAT @BFGMARTIN STRATEGY

  40. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO ACHIEVE YOUR VISION?

    @BFGMARTIN
  41. @BFGMARTIN STRATEGY VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES OBJECTIVES PRINCIPLES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES

    OPPORTUNITIES
  42. @BFGMARTIN STRATEGY “TACTICS WITHOUT STRATEGY IS THE NOISE BEFORE DEFEAT”

    SUN TZU - THE ART OF WAR
  43. STRATEGY @BFGMARTIN

  44. @BFGMARTIN STRATEGY SWOT | Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats SCORE |

    Strengths, Challenges, Options, Responses, and Effectiveness SOAR | Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results NOISE | Needs, Opportunities, Improvements, Strengths, and Exceptions
  45. @BFGMARTIN STRATEGY YOUR CURRENT SITUATION THE OUTCOME YOU’RE AIMING FOR

    POSSIBLE ACTIONS + + OPPORTUNITIES TO LEVERAGE +
  46. @BFGMARTIN WHAT IS YOUR SITUATION? CUSTOMERS, MARKET, CONTEXT

  47. @BFGMARTIN WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES? COMPETITION, CHANGING BEHAVIOUR

  48. @BFGMARTIN WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES? MARKET, TECHNOLOGIES, TRENDS

  49. @BFGMARTIN WHAT ACTIONS CAN WE TAKE? VALUABLE, USABLE, FEASIBLE

  50. $ @BFGMARTIN VALUABLE TO CUSTOMERS + YOUR BUSINESS

  51. @BFGMARTIN Situation: UK used car market is huge, but highly

    fragmented, and famous for it’s poor customer experience Opportunities: Huge market barely penetrated by e-commerce, that would take significant capital to succeed in Threats: US companies looking to expand, UK offline businesses catching on and investing in e-commerce Strategy? Build the best possible experience, raise enough money to build a big business, and do it quickly.
  52. @BFGMARTIN

  53. @BFGMARTIN GOOD STRATEGY ▸ Is based on your current reality

    ▸ Tackles challenges ▸ Outlines the value to your customers ▸ Includes coherent actions ▸ Emphasizes focus over compromise
  54. @BFGMARTIN BAD STRATEGY ▸ Is full of meaningless fluff ▸

    Pretends there are no challenges ▸ Mistakes goals for strategy ▸ Sets bad strategic objectives
  55. @BFGMARTIN A SERIES OF PRODUCT/MARKET FITS GEOGRAPHIES SEGMENTS PERSONAS CHANNELS

    PRODUCT VALUE CHAIN NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
  56. @BFGMARTIN STRATEGY IS ART + SCIENCE STRATEGY IS JUST LIKE

    A SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESIS - AN INDUCTIVE LEAP THAT MUST BE SUBJECTED TO THE SAME LOGICAL AND EMPIRICAL TESTS BEFORE IT CAN BE VALIDATED
  57. @BFGMARTIN STRATEGY IS HARD THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW YOU’VE

    PICKED THE RIGHT STRATEGY IS TO VALIDATE IT WITH CUSTOMERS
  58. WHAT NEXT @BFGMARTIN OBJECTIVES

  59. @BFGMARTIN OBJECTIVES VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES OBJECTIVES PRINCIPLES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES

    OPPORTUNITIES
  60. @BFGMARTIN DECLARE INTENT GIVE AUTONOMY ▸ Socialise vision and strategy

    with your organisation and team ▸ Let them work out how they can help achieve it in their areas
  61. @BFGMARTIN “IF YOU TELL PEOPLE WHERE TO GO, BUT NOT

    HOW TO GET THERE, YOU’LL BE AMAZED AT THE RESULTS” GEORGE S. PATTON - US ARMY
  62. COMPANY GOALS INDIVIDUAL GOALS INDIVIDUAL GOALS INDIVIDUAL GOALS INDIVIDUAL GOALS

    TEAM GOALS TEAM GOALS @BFGMARTIN CONTROL
  63. TEAM A OBJECTIVES INDIVIDUAL OBJECTIVES INDIVIDUAL OBJECTIVES TEAM B OBJECTIVES

    INDIVIDUAL OBJECTIVES INDIVIDUAL OBJECTIVES STRATEGY GAP @BFGMARTIN COMMITMENT VISION GOALS
  64. @BFGMARTIN OBJECTIVES ▸ Qualitative and Inspirational ▸ Time Bound ▸

    Actionable KEY RESULTS ▸ Quantify the objective ▸ How do we know if we’ve succeeded? ▸ Max 3 metrics
  65. @BFGMARTIN IS YOUR BUSINESS FOCUSED ON DELIVERING CUSTOMER VALUE AND

    BUSINESS RESULTS (OUTCOMES) OR ON SHIPPING FEATURES / HITTING METRICS (OUTPUTS)?
  66. @BFGMARTIN OUTCOMES NOT OUTPUTS ▸ Features, stories, bugs, and lines

    of code are worthless if they don’t achieve an outcome ▸ Outcomes are meaningful to the business and measurable by the team
  67. @BFGMARTIN OUTCOMES HAVE IMPACT ▸ Thinking further: what impact do

    your intended outcomes have? ▸ How do they change your customers’ lives or work?
  68. @BFGMARTIN “THERE IS NOTHING QUITE SO USELESS AS DOING WITH

    GREAT EFFICIENCY SOMETHING THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE AT ALL” PETER DRUCKER - IBM, SEARS, GM, GE & MORE
  69. WHAT NEXT @BFGMARTIN OPPORTUNITIES

  70. @BFGMARTIN OPPORTUNITIES VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES OBJECTIVES PRINCIPLES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES

    OPPORTUNITIES
  71. @BFGMARTIN OPPORTUNITY SOLUTION TREE OBJECTIVE OPPORTUNITY SOLUTION OPPORTUNITY OPPORTUNITY SOLUTION

    SOLUTION SOLUTION SOLUTION SOLUTION SOLUTION SOLUTION SOLUTION ASSUMPTION TEST ASSUMPTION TEST ASSUMPTION TEST BY TERESA TORRES
  72. @BFGMARTIN DECISION STACK / OST VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVE OPPORTUNITY SOLUTION

    ASSUMPTION TEST
  73. @BFGMARTIN OPPORTUNITIES/ASSUMPTIONS WHERE TO START? THE RISKIEST ASSUMPTION ON THE

    HIGHEST IMPACT OPPORTUNITY
  74. @BFGMARTIN OPPORTUNITIES/ASSUMPTIONS RAT MVP >

  75. @BFGMARTIN OPPORTUNITIES/ASSUMPTIONS “MAXIMISING THE RATE OF LEARNING BY MINIMISING THE

    TIME TO TRY THINGS.” TOM CHI, GOOGLE X
  76. IN PRACTICE @BFGMARTIN

  77. @BFGMARTIN VISION STRATEGY CONNECTING THE DOTS OBJECTIVES VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES

    VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES CORPORATE VISION PRINCIPLES PRINCIPLES PRINCIPLES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES
  78. @BFGMARTIN VISION STRATEGY CONNECTING THE DOTS OBJECTIVES VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES

    VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES CORPORATE VISION to make the world around you universally accessible and useful PRINCIPLES PRINCIPLES PRINCIPLES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES
  79. @BFGMARTIN VISION STRATEGY CONNECTING THE DOTS OBJECTIVES VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES

    VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES CORPORATE VISION to make the world’s information universally accessible and useful PRINCIPLES PRINCIPLES PRINCIPLES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES
  80. @BFGMARTIN VISION STRATEGY CONNECTING THE DOTS OBJECTIVES VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES

    VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES CORPORATE VISION to create a home that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it PRINCIPLES PRINCIPLES PRINCIPLES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES
  81. @BFGMARTIN VISION STRATEGY CONNECTING THE DOTS OBJECTIVES VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES

    VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES CORPORATE VISION to give everyone a voice and to show them the world PRINCIPLES PRINCIPLES PRINCIPLES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES
  82. @BFGMARTIN VISION STRATEGY CONNECTING THE DOTS OBJECTIVES OPPORTUNITIES To organize

    the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful Leverage unrivalled store of data to better understand the content and serve the user with fast, accurate results PRINCIPLES Improve crawl rate to capture more data Improve ranking algorithm to better “understand” content Fast Accurate Secret Improve speed of search result computation NITIES
  83. THE TEAM @BFGMARTIN

  84. @BFGMARTIN OPEN LEADERSHIP ▸ Strategy = Leadership ▸ You have

    the overview, the insight, and the experience to make the intuitive leaps to good strategy ▸ But everyone owns the outcome, so don’t do it behind closed doors
  85. @BFGMARTIN “IF YOU’RE ONLY USING YOUR ENGINEERS TO CODE YOU’RE

    ONLY GETTING HALF THEIR VALUE” MARTY CAGAN
  86. @BFGMARTIN “IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO HIRE SMART PEOPLE AND

    THEN TELL THEM WHAT TO DO. WE HIRE SMART PEOPLE SO THEY CAN TELL US WHAT TO DO.” STEVE JOBS - APPLE
  87. @BFGMARTIN Detail Leadership Team Vision BALANCE The team is always

    involved At some point leadership gets out of the way
  88. COMMUNICATION @BFGMARTIN

  89. @BFGMARTIN CLARITY= TRANSPARENCY + UNDERSTANDING JOHN MAEDA - PUBLICIS SAPIENT

  90. @BFGMARTIN ACHIEVE CLARITY ▸ Over-communicate your vision and strategy -

    you can’t repeat it enough ▸ Print it on the walls ▸ Repeat it at every all-hands and progress update meeting
  91. @BFGMARTIN MISSION CLARITY AUFTRAGSKLÄRUNG

  92. CADENCE @BFGMARTIN

  93. @BFGMARTIN CHANGE “WE VALUE RESPONDING TO CHANGE OVER FOLLOWING A

    PLAN” AGILE MANIFESTO
  94. @BFGMARTIN VISION PRINCIPLES CHANGE OBJECTIVES OBJECTIVES Constant Flux STRATEGY Static

    Evolves Slowly OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES
  95. @BFGMARTIN CHANGE “STUBBORN ON THE VISION, FLEXIBLE ON THE DETAILS.”

    JEFF BEZOS - AMAZON
  96. Progress Check @BFGMARTIN 2019 2020 2019 Plan Q1 Review Q2

    Review Q3 Review Q4 Review 2019 Results Progress Check Progress Check Progress Check Progress Check Progress Check Progress Check Progress Check Progress Check Progress Check Progress Check Progress Check Build a cadence for learning - are we making progress towards our goals? - what have we learned that might change our strategy? - what decisions do we keep weighing that might make for good product/design principles? CADENCE OF IMPROVEMENT
  97. YOUR JOB @BFGMARTIN

  98. @BFGMARTIN PRODUCT LEADERS ▸ Repeat the vision/mission often ▸ Ensure

    the full stack is in place and communicated often ▸ Tell the stories of how you got here and why this matters to customers
  99. @BFGMARTIN ▸ Use your product skills to help tell those

    stories and communicate the vision, mission, and principles ▸ Design better ways of working that put the customer at the centre ▸ Feed customer research and insights into the whole decision stack ▸ Keep asking why PRODUCT PEOPLE
  100. @BFGMARTIN “IF WE HAVE EVIDENCE, LET’S LOOK AT EVIDENCE. IF

    ALL WE HAVE ARE OPINIONS, LET’S GO WITH MINE.” JIM BARKSDALE - NETSCAPE
  101. @BFGMARTIN KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES OBJECTIVES How? How?

    How? Why? Why? Why? PRINCIPLES How? Why? OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES
  102. @BFGMARTIN KEEP ANSWERING QUESTIONS VISION STRATEGY OBJECTIVES OBJECTIVES User Research

    & insights PRINCIPLES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES OPPORTUNITIES
  103. @BFGMARTIN GREAT VISION GREAT STRATEGY GREAT PRINCIPLES WHY WHAT HOW

  104. @BFGMARTIN INCREASES DECISION VELOCITY & QUALITY KNOWING WHY, WHAT, AND

    HOW DECREASES DECISION OVERLOAD & CONFLICT
  105. FURTHER READING @BFGMARTIN FIND OUT MORE AT THEDECISIONSTACK.COM THANK YOU!