Mental models are essential for product managers to quickly navigate the plethora of decisions we’ve to take every day. We’re constantly inundated with decisions we’ve to take… sometimes there isn’t enough data or sometimes, we’re too bogged down with our current decision pipeline that a new one, that’s urgent, becomes difficult, no matter how trivial it is…
Before we discuss the mental models, I’ll share how I approach decision-taking, before applying a mental model.
There is a saying, “Knowing is half the battle won…”. And this applies to making decisions. Below is my 3 step framework for deciding on taking decisions.
3 Step Framework to Better Decision Making
There are appropriately 3 steps to take when deciding to make a decision:
Classify the problem
Urgency vs importance classification is the simplest. It is important to separate urgency and importance. An urgent task may not be important. There is a saying:
Poor planning on your part does not necessitate an emergency on mine.
- Bob Carter
Knowing which tasks are put in your decision pipeline by others due to their lack of planning is critical to ensure you’re keeping your pipeline clean from random emergencies.
Similarly, important decisions are those which can have devastating ripple effects down the road. Think of a design decision taken by the team. If this decision can lead to delayed deployments in the future then you have to stop what you’re doing and decide on alternatives. It might not be urgent, right now — but it is important.
Take appropriate action
Based on the classification, there is an easy way to decide on the action. Decisions that can be delegated should be delegated. Consider radical…