Decision Making Methods

Most of the time in Product Management you need to make quick decisions and trust your gut feeling. But from time to time there are tough decisions to be made and it makes sense to use a more advanced technique to decide what to do. I will list here the techniques I think are most valuable for the daily use.
All of these techniques work better if applied in a team and/or peer reviewed for several times.


Process Decision

Vroom-Yetton-Jago Contingency Model

The Vroom-Yetton-Jago Contigency Model is a method to see which type of decision process is appropriate for your specific situation.


General Decisions

The Analytic Hierarchy Process

The Analytic Hierarchy Process is a method to choose between different options when you have a set of predefined criteria that are used for evaluation. The interesting thing for Product Management is that it can be directly used to prioritize your backlog in alignment with your goals that could come for example from the balanced scorecard.


Opportunity Assessments

Opportunity Assessments define quick way to check the most important questions before making a decision and can also be used for presenting to higher level management. For online companies a good list of questions can be found here.


ABC Analysis and Pareto Analysis

Both methods are good for priorization and/or determining the most important factors. They are based on the pareto principle. These methods can be helpful in product Management i.e. to define your Minimum Viable Product.


Decision Trees

Decision trees can be extremely helpful to structure your thoughts. Always keep in mind that it is extremely important to keep them mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive.


Kano Model

The Kano Model is a classical tool for Product Managers to see which features are important for a specific product. The downside of the Kano Model is that it is quite time-consuming to apply it.


Group Decisions

Sticking Dots

The sticking dots method is a very simple but effective tool to prioritize ideas. I use it often to get the most relevant ideas out of brainstorming sessions.


Anonymous Voting

Anonymous Voing can be used if it is specifically important that no influence by the other voters is made or when tactical voting needs to be minimized. The downside of this technique is that it takes much longer than the sticking dots technique.


Delphi Technique and Consensus Mapping

The Delphi Technique and Consensus Mapping are mainly used when long-term issues have to be assesse. For product management this can be useful when planning long-term roadmaps in teams.

2 thoughts on “Decision Making Methods

  1. Pingback: Problem Solving | Lars Giere

  2. Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It’s the little changes that make
    the most important changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  3. Tremendous things here. I’m very glad to see your article.
    Thanks so much and I’m taking a look forward to touch you.
    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

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