Good product strategy enables effective and efficient decision making. Effective product strategy lowers decision fatigue and simultaneously creates the psychological safety to make critical decisions.
What Is Decision Fatigue?
According to Adam Thomas “Decision fatigue, then, refers to the tendency of our decision-making ability to deteriorate in quality over the course of a long session”. He goes on to point out the importance of Decision Fatigue, given that the entire role of Product Management is about prioritising and making critical decisions.
Every decision made is a choice and has a cost. As you move down a decision tree each following decision inherits the implications of previous decisions, no matter the current merit or relevance. The process gets harder over time and when we struggle with decisions we get more fatigued.
Product Strategy Should Make Decision Making Easier.
This article is not about explaining what needs to go into a product strategy, it is about explaining how the product strategy provides psychological safety.
Good strategy provides clarity, it communicates the assets and resources the team has at its disposal. The strategy should explain the boundaries that exist and provide guidance that will aid decision making. Together with a plan for growth, a roadmap for technology and a minimum standard for the customer experience.
“We’ve all felt how bad leadership and unnecessary ambiguity take their toll on our ability to make rational decisions and produce consistent business results. Psychological safety is a good bulwark against decision fatigue.”Adam Thomas
Giving the team a good strategy provides them with clarity about where to start and how to operate. The members don’t have to establish a series assumptions or agreed positions before they start the decision making process. This provides psychological safety and reduces the fatigue associated with the decisions.
Good strategy is descriptive and not prescriptive. It provides context to make decisions not telling you what to do or how to decide. The benefits of this clarity go beyond psychological safety includes empowering creativity in team members, freedom to experiment and speeding up decision making.
By reducing the number of decisions that need to be made and removing the uncertainty you unlock the power of your team to execute good product strategy.
A key way to assess if you have a good product strategy is to check if it is reducing the number of decisions the team are making. Thomas suggests a good way to lower fatigue is to reduce the number or routine or boring decisions required by the team.
This can enable the product team members to focus on what really matters and not get bogged down in rigmarole.
It is also important to reduce the level of information artefacts required to make a decision, make it clear which are non negotiable and which have some level of latitude.
Good product strategy creates psychological safety, reduces decision fatigue and gets your team aligned in way they are more likely to make creative and effective decisions.
- A good product strategy provides clarity in which decisions are already made and not up for debate.
- The good product strategy provides psychological safety for the team members.
- Effectively used a good product strategy unleashes creativity and keeps the team aligned in the right direction.
DIGEST of an article from BUILTIN Good Product Strategy Makes Decisions Easier By Adam Thomas Published: 10th November 2020 https://builtin.com/product-management/strategy-makes-decisions-easier