How to Make Decisions by Asking Questions by Google Product Leader, Darko Vukovic

Making the right decisions is really hard, even if you have all the data and all the context. Decision making requires a lot of critical thinking, a lot of "what if?" scenarios. and therefore it is difficult in every situation. In the real world, you usually encounter incomplete data and subjective data that has been interpreted by someone else, potentially multiple times. Therefore, in the real world, it is even more difficult to make decisions, and we must consider that these decisions may be associated with the risk involved in the process and we must do as much preliminary work as possible to make sure that these decisions are good. Questions are one of the best ways to reduce the risk of making a decision.

Dimensions of Questions

  • Vision - Why do we want the world to be different?

  • Physics - Is it possible to do what we want to do?

  • Capability - Do we possess access to the skills, infrastructure, and tools needed?

  • Economics - Do we generate more value than cost?

  • User Experience - Will users tolerate the constraints placed upon them in exchange for the value gained?

  • Integrity - Are we being honest & upfront about our assumptions?

My Pragmatic Advice.

  • Document agreements, assumptions does not need to be fancy.

  • Don`t corner people into agreement, it`s ok to agree to disagree.

    • It`s ok if it turns out that you were wrong and someone else was right.

  • Assemble a Framework as Quickly as you Can

    • It`s a lot easier to strengthen a framework than it is to reach decisions without one.

  • Ground objections into the framework.

    • Understand if they should block progress or be accounted for as we move.

    • Don`t block progress unless someone else wants to be responsible for blocking progress.

  • Minimize wasted effort by formulating validation questions & expected results.

  • Put it all in the open and invite criticism, don`t be afraid to fail.

    • Avoiding trying kills great ideas before they are born.

    • Avoiding recognition of failure keeps bad ideas alive longer than need be.

  • - Always ask questions and seek to learn, this will set you up well with context for future decisions.

Darko Vukovic, Google Product Leader.