Grab this free Decision Memo Template

Is your #productmarketing team struggling to make important cross-functional decisions?

Don’t let analysis paralysis, endless meetings, and indecision hold you back.

Add Decision Memos to your PMM toolkit. (Template in the comments)

I had a blast chatting with Devon O’Rourke recently on his new podcast, Embracing Erosion. Grab the episode link in the comments 👇

One thing we discussed was the concept of Decision Memos.

Having worked at Amazon (inventors of the decision memo) Devon had a lot to share on the topic.

I personally was introduced to these at Chili Piper, where they were a huge part of our decision-making process.

We’ve now started using them to make decisions at Klue.

So, what is a decision memo?

They're a document you use to clearly articulate a problem, the decision you need to make, and the potential solutions available.

At Amazon, this is a lengthy document that everyone would need to read at the beginning of a meeting to make sure they had all of the context needed to think critically and weigh in on the decision.

Chili Piper, a fully remote company, iterated on the concept to use these as a largely async tool.

We added a “Recommendations” section to our memos so everyone could recommend their favorite solution and explain why.

You’d then leave the memo open for feedback for a period of time before putting it in front of one final decision-maker, or bringing it to a committee meeting.

I’ve included a link in the comments to a template you can use to start creating your own decision memos.

A few reasons you should consider using these:

1️⃣ They force you to clearly articulate the problem and potential solutions.

2️⃣ They encourage you to consider a range of options and evaluate the pros and cons of each.

3️⃣ They provide a record of the decision-making process, which comes in handy later.

4️⃣ They encourage team members to think critically and provide input.

5️⃣ They help reduce the risk of making a poor, knee-jerk decision, without considering the options

6️⃣ They can improve communication and collaboration — meetings can often be controlled by the loudest person in the room

7️⃣ They can improve buy-in and support of a decision since team members have had the opportunity to contribute to the process.

Of course, not every decision requires a decision memo. There will always be some decisions that can be made quickly within a small group of people.

Consider using this for a few of those big decisions or ideas that you’re struggling to get over the line.

Then see how it feels and iterate to make it work for your company.

#productmarketing #strategy #marketing #bestadvice