A quick look at decision supervision by Lucy Spence "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs 1 December 2022 True Premium Content, Product Decisions, Video, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 710 A quick look at decision supervision by Lucy Spence Product Management 2.84
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A quick look at decision supervision by Lucy Spence

In her digital breakout session at #mtpcon London 2022, Lucy Spence, Product Director at Appvia discusses her experience with making decisions and how she evolved her decision-making into strategies. She explained her three concepts of decision supervision and tips on implementing those concepts. Watch this video or read on for key highlights from the talk.

Three different concepts of decision supervision

Lucy started with the first concept, “Match Effort To Impact.”

Concept #1 “Match To Effort”

Lucy first highlighted that you and your colleague’s time and energy are limited. So, investing it in the right place and time is better if you focus on the big decisions and assign your resources to them than the small decision-making automatically becomes more effortless.

Product managers often make the mistake of investing too much time in small decisions.

Tip #1 “Irreversible Decisions”

Lucy explained to us the first tip, which is irreversible decisions. She explained that these decisions are not reversible like the name tells us. If we try to reverse them, it will cause significant damage.

Examples include long-term commitments like customer promises, contracts, and acquisition

She also shared the example of the love Film acquisition by Amazon and how the transition was difficult, and the decision has been deemed a mistake.

Moreover, Lucy gives a valuable statement: “don’t make risky decisions for small incremental gain.” Only make such decisions when there is high leverage and reward.

Tip #2 “5-Year Test”

The five 5 year test should happen over a time frame of 20 years, says Lucy. She wants us to look at what we are working on today and think about what it would be worth in the next five years or more. What impact will it have, and will it make a difference in the organization and product’s performance?

Tip #3 “Speedy or Accurate”

You must speed up the cycle and be accurate because it affects the business. Speed means generating insights as quickly as possible, and it is also OK to be a bit less accurate.

Concept #2 “Be Tri-Directional”

Lucy tells how she moves forward with a launch while working backwards from the outcome, overviewing everything she has done, and conducting all three tasks simultaneously. She also supported her statement by saying that Amazon use this in its development process.

Tip #4 “Start At the End”

We should know the desirability of building the product, and those desires should justify the cost of building the product. Engineers can make efficient decisions without micro-manage if the end goals or outcomes are pre-explained.

Tip #5 “Write Narratives”

Lucy says writing down a narrative is helpful for thinking. She further asked us to avoid bullet points as people camouflage logic with their own opinion. Writing things down can be difficult, but it helps to get to the core of what you’re dealing with. Doing this helps you to free up more mental resources and means you don’t have to continually remind yourself of what your challenges are.

Tip #6 “Signal Intent”

Lucy says that as a product manager, it is your job to ensure the right decisions are made, not to be the sole decision-maker. Focus on getting input from other people rather than reviewing yourself.

Tip #7 “Unintended consequences”

Expect unexpected customer behavior as a result of product decisions. Lucy also says people don’t want to be surprised by abrupt features or launches, so avoid product decisions leading to such situations.

Concept #3 “Exposing the Invisible”

Some decisions can hugely impact your lives and businesses. Their impact may not be that noticeable immediately, but they have a considerable bearing.

Tip #8 “Compare & Contrast”

Lucy further guides us to solve the right problem to get the best solution. It helps expose things that you are not aware of. You can compare your decisions and the possible outcomes. This is where you get an understanding of the opportunity cost.

Concept #4 Pure Dumb Luck

Sometimes it is just luck or environmental conditions which turn out to be in favor of businesses. Luck plays a considerable role in your decision-making.

Wrapping Up

With Lucy’s experience in thinking about getting a dog, she created a set of practical tips and concepts for adequate decision supervision.

There’s more where that came from!

Explore more #mtpcon London 2022 content or use our Content A-Z to find even more product management insights.

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