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Product decision-making framework

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Product decision-making framework

  1. 1. Product Decision-Making
  2. 2. Building product is simply a series of decisions
  3. 3. Quality Decisions Quality Product
  4. 4. The speed at which quality decisions are made dictates how fast we can bring value to customers
  5. 5. And impact for our business $ $ $ $ $ $
  6. 6. Our principles and process exist to ensure we make high quality decisions quickly and consistently
  7. 7. And theyʼve done a great job so far
  8. 8. But weʼre now operating at a new scale with even bigger ambitions
  9. 9. And what got us here, wonʼt get us there
  10. 10. Problems with how we make decisions today 1. Limited autonomy 2. Vagueness on who makes decisions 3. Vagueness on what to do with feedback 4. Vagueness on accountability
  11. 11. This results in 1. Slow decision-making 2. Lower quality decisions 3. Poor experience for everyone involved And ultimately, less market impact.
  12. 12. Thatʼs why our principles and process for making decisions need to evolve
  13. 13. Here are 4 principles to make us better at decision-making
  14. 14. #1 Highly aligned strategically #2 Fast & autonomous in execution #3 Hungry for feedback #4 Owning the results
  15. 15. Highly aligned strategically All our decisions are aligned with our company strategy, product strategy, and any relevant program and group strategies. PRINCIPLE #1
  16. 16. We have big ambitions
  17. 17. Reinvent customer support and customer engagement
  18. 18. Become a multibillion dollar company
  19. 19. But...
  20. 20. Our product is broad
  21. 21. Our team is limited
  22. 22. Our time is limited WEEKS IN A YEAR YEARS
  23. 23. Our competition is strong
  24. 24. To win, we need to focus...
  25. 25. ...and be aligned
  26. 26. Misaligned strategic decisions are expensive
  27. 27. So whatʼs changing? 1. Clarified all levels of strategy decisions and associated drivers & approvers for each 2. Clarified rituals by which strategy decisions get reviewed and approved
  28. 28. Mission Vision Company strategy Product strategy Programs Winning strategies Group/team strategies Roadmaps Cycle goals Weekly goals Weʼve clarified DACI at each strategy level
  29. 29. Including who needs to approve strategic decisions and whoʼs ultimately accountable
  30. 30. DACI for each level Driver Approver Contributor Informed Drives progress and manages expectations Approves and is accountable for the decision Inputs and gives feedback on the decision Informed when the decision has been made
  31. 31. All DACI levels redefined
  32. 32. And for each strategy decision-making ritual, weʼve clarified its purpose, cadence, driver, and attendees
  33. 33. All rituals redefined
  34. 34. Fast & autonomous in execution When executing based on an agreed strategy, we move fast and autonomously, without approval processes. PRINCIPLE #2
  35. 35. You might remember Des talk about...
  36. 36. speed Speed.
  37. 37. It’s not just about what we do. It’s about how quickly we do it.
  38. 38. Getting everyone aligned takes a lot of time and effort 2 people / 1 connection 4 people / 6 connections 8 people / 28 connections
  39. 39. We believe itʼs worth it for strategic decisions
  40. 40. But...
  41. 41. Itʼs slowing us down when it comes to execution
  42. 42. speed Thatʼs why we believe teams should be fast & autonomous when executing based on an agreed strategy
  43. 43. We work hard to hire smart people like you
  44. 44. And create an environment of high transparency and candor
  45. 45. Teams talk to their customers regularly and understand their problems deeply
  46. 46. One of our company values says:
  47. 47. Theyʼre well set-up to make smart decisions and trade-offs
  48. 48. So whatʼs changing? 1. Making it explicit that there is no approval for executional decisions 2. Clarified DACI for each type of executional decision
  49. 49. We believe teams will be able to deliver quality work faster by not having to get approval for executional decisions Itʼs still up to the manager and their report to decide how involved the manager needs to be.
  50. 50. And by having shared expectations of each otherʼs roles for executional decisions
  51. 51. Clarified DACI
  52. 52. Hungry for feedback To make better decisions we proactively seek feedback to gain different perspectives. We listen and consider all feedback with an open mind and then accept or discard it. PRINCIPLE #3
  53. 53. Small teams with high context are best placed to drive quality decisions quickly ✅ ❌ ❌
  54. 54. But no one has all the context to make quality decisions alone
  55. 55. One of our company values says:
  56. 56. Different perspectives surface different considerations ✅ ❌ ❌ 🤔 🤔
  57. 57. and sharpen our thinking ✅ 🤔 ✅
  58. 58. Helping us make higher quality decisions
  59. 59. Thatʼs why we should be hungry for feedback Photo credit
  60. 60. So whatʼs changing? 1. Reframed executional rituals around getting feedback and keeping stakeholders informed 2. New framework for giving and receiving feedback 3. Holding each other accountable for getting feedback on decisions weʼre driving
  61. 61. Weʼre making product forums smaller and explicitly focused on feedback, not decision-making
  62. 62. To get director feedback, weʼre introducing project reviews, which will happen on ad-hoc basis
  63. 63. To keep stakeholders informed, weʼre introducing lightweight async status updates
  64. 64. Curious Minor Major Youʼre simply trying to understand more Thereʼs a detail that needs to be considered Thereʼs a significant disagreement or misalignment that needs to be resolved When giving feedback, we should clarify how serious to consider it:
  65. 65. We believe feedback is critical to making quality decisions
  66. 66. Thatʼs why weʼll hold each other accountable for getting feedback on our work
  67. 67. This can be through product forums, project reviews, team rituals, peer reviews...
  68. 68. ...or any other medium that best suits the decision
  69. 69. The important point is that weʼre hungry for feedback and expect the same from everyone else
  70. 70. Owning the results We hold ourselves responsible for output and outcomes from our work. When our decisions donʼt work out, weʼre open and frank about what happened and what we learned. PRINCIPLE #4
  71. 71. You might also remember Des telling us...
  72. 72. Our job is market impact
  73. 73. We ship product
  74. 74. That solves problems for our customers
  75. 75. Which ultimately should result in impact for our business
  76. 76. With increased autonomy comes an increased responsibility to own the results of our work
  77. 77. We have good rituals for holding ourselves responsible for output
  78. 78. But we historically havenʼt been as good at holding ourselves responsible for outcomes
  79. 79. Weʼve gotten better with project outcome reports
  80. 80. Output Outcome Input But they are too disconnected from the broader strategy Output Outcome Output Outcome Outcome PROJECTS STRATEGY
  81. 81. And arenʼt well set up for having an honest debate about the real impact and its implications
  82. 82. We need to apply a growth mindset to driving outcomes
  83. 83. Where weʼre open and frank about the real impact of our work
  84. 84. And focus on learnings
  85. 85. One of our company values says:
  86. 86. So whatʼs changing? 1. Introducing quarterly program and group reviews 2. Updating our existing strategy rituals to be more focused on outcomes
  87. 87. The purpose of quarterly reviews will be to...
  88. 88. Have an open and honest discussion about the impact on outcomes weʼre having 1.
  89. 89. Discuss learnings and new insights 2.
  90. 90. Get feedback and approval on adjustments to strategy for the subsequent quarter 3.
  91. 91. To further encourage this mindset, weʼll also update our other existing strategy rituals and roadmap reviews
  92. 92. Whew! That was a lot. ��
  93. 93. Take a breath ��
  94. 94. Ok, so...
  95. 95. Hereʼs a summary of all principles & changes to how we work that will make us better at decision making
  96. 96. #1 Highly aligned strategically Clarified all levels of strategy decisions and associated drivers & approvers for each Clarified rituals by which strategy decisions get reviewed and approved All our decisions are aligned with our company strategy, product strategy, and any relevant program and group strategies. #3 Hungry for feedback #4 Owning the results Reframed executional rituals around getting feedback and keeping stakeholders informed New framework for giving and receiving feedback Holding each other accountable for getting feedback on decisions weʼre driving Introducing quarterly program and group reviews Updating our existing strategy rituals to be more focused on outcomes To make better decisions we proactively seek feedback to gain different perspectives. We listen and consider all feedback with an open mind and then accept or discard it. We hold ourselves responsible for output and outcomes from our work. When our decisions donʼt work out, weʼre open and frank about what happened and what we learned. #2 Fast & autonomous in execution Making it explicit that there is no approval for executional decisions Clarified DACI for each type of executional decision When executing based on an agreed strategy, we move fast and autonomously, without approval processes.
  97. 97. Weʼre at a new scale
  98. 98. Our ambitions are huge
  99. 99. We have exceptional people
  100. 100. Like you
  101. 101. We want to set you up to make exceptional decisions
  102. 102. That drive a huge impact to our business
  103. 103. Quickly
  104. 104. But more importantly...
  105. 105. Enjoyably
  106. 106. We want Intercom to be the best work of your career
  107. 107. We believe these principles will help us get there
  108. 108. Thank you

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