Decision making templates

Simplify your workflows and optimize your daily routines with our collection of decision-making templates.

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Competitive Analysis

Developing a great product starts with knowing the lay of the land (meaning who you’re up against) and answering a few questions: Who are your competitors? How does your product or service compare? What makes you stand out? A competitive analysis will help find the answers, which can ultimately shape your product, value prop, marketing, and sales strategies. It’s a great exercise when a big business event is about to occur — like a new product release or strategic planning session.

Competitive Analysis
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Assumption Grid

Someone wise once said that nothing in life is certain. But the waters of the business world? It can seem especially uncertain and unclear. An Assumption Grid can help you navigate those waters and make your decisions confidently. It organizes your business ideas according to the certainty and risk of each — then your team can discuss them and make judgment calls, prioritize, mitigate risk, and overcome uncertainties. That’s why an Assumption Grid is a powerful tool for getting past the decision paralysis that every team occasionally faces.

Assumption Grid
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Blue Ocean 4 Actions Framework

For entrepreneurs, so much comes down to new users—how to attract them, impress them, and convert them to loyal customers. This template, designed by the authors of Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant, will help you maximize value for you and your customers alike. Using the template’s four steps (divided into easy columns), you’ll easily evaluate your products in more innovative ways and make sure money is being spent in areas that really matter.

Blue Ocean 4 Actions Framework
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SOAR Analysis

The SOAR Analysis template prompts you to consider your organization’s strengths and potential to create a shared vision of the future. The SOAR Analysis is unique in that it encourages you to focus on the positive rather than solely identifying areas for growth. SOAR stands for Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results. To use the template, examine each category through a positive lens. Perform a SOAR Analysis whenever you want to bring people together and encourage action.

SOAR Analysis
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SAFe Roam Board

A SAFe ROAM Board is a framework for making risks visible. It gives you and your team a shared space to notice and highlight risks, so they don’t get ignored. The ROAM Board helps everyone consider the likelihood and impact of risks, and decide which risks are low priority versus high priority. The underlying principles of SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) are: drive cost-effective solutions, apply systems thinking, assume that things will change, build incrementally, base milestones on evaluating working systems, and visualize and limit works in progress.

SAFe Roam Board
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Risk Matrix

A risk matrix--also known as a probability matrix, risk assessment matrix, or impact matrix--is a tool that allows you to evaluate overall risk by visualizing potential risks in a diagram. The tool allows you to weigh the severity of a potential risk against the probability that the risk might occur. Risk matrices are useful for risk management because they visually represent the risks involved in a decision. This empowers you to avoid worst-case scenarios by preparing contingencies or mitigation plans.

Risk Matrix
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Risk Assessment

A risk assessment matrix is a simple framework you can use to plan your project or product development cycle. Also known as a probability and severity risk matrix, the framework can enable you to figure out how to prioritize project or product-related risks based on likelihood and potential business impact. Risks can be ranked according to low probability and severity (1, color-coded green) to the highest possible likelihood (10, color-coded red). Ranking each risk lets you and your team prioritize risks and tackle the biggest threats with a strong action plan. The grid format allows you to control the amount of risk you’re likely to face during the project by visualizing and qualifying it.

Risk Assessment
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RACI Matrix

The RACI Matrix is an essential management tool that helps teams keep track of roles and responsibilities and can avoid confusion during projects. The acronym RACI stands for Responsible (the person who does the work to achieve the task and is responsible for getting the work done or decision made); Accountable (the person who is accountable for the correct and thorough completion of the task); Consulted (the people who provide information for the project and with whom there is two-way communication); Informed (the people who are kept informed of progress and with whom there is one-way communication).

RACI Matrix
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Prototype

A prototype is a live mockup of your product that defines the product’s structure, user flow, and navigational details (such as buttons and menus) without committing to final details like visual design. Prototyping allows you to simulate how a user might experience your product or service, map out user contexts and task flows, create scenarios to understand personas, and collect feedback on your product. Using a prototype helps you save money by locating roadblocks early in the process. Prototypes can vary, but they generally contain a series of screens or artboards connected by arrows or links.

Prototype
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Project Scope

A project scope helps you plan and confirm your project’s goals, deliverables, features, functions, tasks, costs, and deadlines. A project manager and team should develop a project scope as early as possible, as it will directly influence both the schedule and cost of a project as it progresses. Though project scopes will vary depending on your team and objectives, they generally include goals, requirements, major deliverables, assumptions, and constraints. Aim to include the whole team when you create a project scope to ensure everyone is aligned on responsibilities and deadlines.

Project Scope
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Cynefin Framework

Companies face a range of complex problems. At times, these problems leave the decision makers unsure where to even begin or what questions to ask. The Cynefin Framework, developed by Dave Snowden at IBM in 1999, can help you navigate those problems and find the appropriate response. Many organizations use this powerful, flexible framework to aid them during product development, marketing plans, and organizational strategy, or when faced with a crisis. This template is also ideal for training new hires on how to react to such an event.

Cynefin Framework
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Pros and Cons List

A pros and cons list is a simple but powerful decision-making tool used to help understand both sides of an argument. Pros are listed as arguments in favor of making a particular decision or action. Cons are listed arguments against it. By creating a list that details both sides of the argument, it becomes easier to visualize the potential impact of your decision. To make your pros and cons list even more objective, it can help to weight each pro and con against the others. You can then present your decision with confidence, making a strong argument for why it’s the right one.

Pros and Cons List
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Likert Scale

It’s not always easy to measure complex, highly subjective data — like how people feel about your product, service, or experience. But the Likert scale is designed to help you do it. This scale allows your existing or potential customers to respond to a statement or question with a range of phrases or numbers (e.g., from “strongly agree” to “neutral,” to “strongly disagree,” or from 1 to 5). The goal is to ask your customer some specific questions to turn into easy-to-interpret actionable user insights.

Likert Scale
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Dot Voting

Dot voting, also known as “sticker voting,” “dotmocracy,” or “voting with dots”, allows teams to point out issues in a series of potential solutions or to prioritize tasks when presented with various options. Dot voting is different from the default “one-share” or “one-vote” rule. Instead, each person in the group is given as many votes (or “points”) as can be filled. Those votes can either all be cast for one idea, or distributed among many ideas. You can use dot voting any time your team prioritizes options or agrees on a direction to take for a high-stakes project.

Dot Voting
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Conversion Funnel Backlog

If you’re working on a product that has clear conversions, then it can help to structure your backlog around the conversion funnel to make sure you’re reaching your audience. Creating a conversion funnel backlog brings together information around potential pain-points in your funnel and opportunities for growth. Once you’ve identified that information, it becomes easier to prioritize. You and your team can use the conversion funnel backlog to focus on conversion, retention, and referral, or to tweak your workflow in more mature products.

Conversion Funnel Backlog
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Fibonacci Scale

When you manage a team, you often have to estimate how much time and effort tasks will take to complete. Try what often works for Agile teams all over the world: Turn to the Fibonacci Scale for guidance. Based on the Fibonacci sequence, where each number is the summation of the two previous numbers (0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc.), this template can help you build timelines like a champ—by helping make sure that work is distributed evenly and that everyone is accurate when estimating the work and time involved in a project.

Fibonacci Scale
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Opportunity Canvas

Features and capabilities — they make or break a product, which is why companies spend so much time and effort focusing on them. Sound like you? Try it with an Opportunity Canvas. This streamlined one-pager gives you and your team the power to improve your product by exploring the use cases, potential setbacks, strategies, challenges, and metrics. An Opportunity Canvas is ideal if you’ve already built a product, because you don’t need to consider the operational or revenue model.

Opportunity Canvas
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SWOT Analysis

When you’re developing a business strategy, it can be hard to figure out what to focus on. A SWOT analysis helps you hone in on key factors. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors, like your employees, intellectual property, marketing strategy, and location. Opportunities and threats are usually external factors, like market fluctuations, competition, prices of raw materials, and consumer trends. Conduct a SWOT analysis whenever you want to explore opportunities for new businesses and products, decide the best way to launch a product, unlock your company’s potential, or use your strengths to develop opportunities.

SWOT Analysis
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4P Marketing Mix

So you just completed a sprint. Teams busted their humps and emotions ran high. Now take a clear-eyed look back and grade the sprint honestly—what worked, what didn’t, and what can be improved. This approach (4Ls stand for liked, learned, lacked, and longed for) is an invaluable way to remove the emotion and look at the process critically. That’s how you can build trust, improve morale, and increase engagement—as well as make adjustments to be more productive and successful in the future.

4P Marketing Mix
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Cost-Benefit Analysis

With so many day-to-day decisions to make—and each one feeling high-stakes—it’s easy for all the choices to weigh a business or organization down. You need a systematic way to analyze the risks and rewards. A cost benefit analysis gives you the clarity you need to make smart decisions. This template will let you conduct a CBA to help your team assess the pros and cons of new projects or business proposals—and ultimately help your company preserve your precious time, money, and social capital.

Cost-Benefit Analysis
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Retrospective 4Ls

So you just completed a sprint. Teams busted their humps and emotions ran high. Now take a clear-eyed look back and grade the sprint honestly—what worked, what didn’t, and what can be improved. This approach (4Ls stand for liked, learned, lacked, and longed for) is an invaluable way to remove the emotion and look at the process critically. That’s how you can build trust, improve morale, and increase engagement—as well as make adjustments to be more productive and successful in the future.

Retrospective 4Ls
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Look Mock Analyze

Doing your homework (aka, the research) is a key step in your design process, and the Look, Mock, Analyze approach helps you examine, structure, and streamline that step. With this powerful tool you’ll be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses, what you did right or wrong, and whether you spent time efficiently. Our Look, Mock, Analyze template makes it so easy for you to discover inspiration, mock up designs, and get feedback — you can start by setting up your board in less than a minute.

Look Mock Analyze
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User Persona

A user persona is a tool for representing and summarizing a target audience for your product or service that you have researched or observed. Whether you’re in content marketing, product marketing, design, or sales, you operate with a target in mind. Maybe it’s your customer or prospect. Maybe it’s someone who will benefit from your product or service. Usually, it’s a whole collection of personalities and needs that intersect in interesting ways. By distilling your knowledge about a user, you create a model for the person you hope to target: this is a persona.

User Persona
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