Why Happier Autonomous Teams Use One-Pagers by John Cutler "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs December 12 2020 True Alignment, John Cutler, one-pager, ProductTank, ProductTank San Francisco, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 304 John Cutler producttank san francisco talk Product Management 1.216

Why Happier Autonomous Teams Use One-Pagers by John Cutler


Wondering what a “one-pager” is? In this ProductTank San Francisco talk, John Cutler (Product Evangelist at Amplitude) explained to a packed house at NextRoll why one-pagers are a “forcing function”.

John covered:

  • What is a one-pager?
  • What outcomes should you expect from your one-pagers?
  • How do one-pagers fit into the overall product puzzle?

Watch the video to see John’s full talk. Or read on for a summary of the key points.

What is a One-Pager?

A one-pager is a concise, easy-to-read document that outlines a proposed product bet. The one-pager clearly communicates what the product bet is about, what outcomes are expected, and how they will be measured. One-pagers are a “forcing function” because they force product teams to think, assess, and revisit their product bets.

Expected Outcomes

The goal of a one-pager is to establish clarity, alignment, impact and joy within the team. If your one-pager stimulates questions, discussion, and follow-up activities, you’re on the right track. At the core of John’s model are valuable conversations. According to John, to generate valuable conversations among your team you need psychological safety, insights, feedback loops, and shared vocabulary. All of these can be established through the practice of one-pagers.

A Piece of the Puzzle

Most people are fairly certain about what they’re working on in the next few hours, days or even weeks. In most cases, organizations also have long term clarity in the form of a 3-5 year plan. The stuff in the middle can be “fuzzy,” says John. One-pagers are a great tool to bring clarity to that fuzzy middle and should typically describe something that can be executed in 1-3 months.

To learn more about one-pagers, the types of product bets, and how to graduate from working on predetermined specifications to generating long-term business outcomes, watch the video!