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Making Good Decisions as a Product Manager

By John Lafleur 1 minute read

TL;DR: Product managers (PMs) have one big responsibility: decisions. This article presents a very interesting framework to help PMs put the right efforts in every decision they need to make, based on whether the decision is easy to undo or not.

While product managers may not build the actual product, they do produce something very tangible for a team: decisions.

These decisions can be about anything: small ones like a line of copy in the docs, to big ones like what the MVP of a new feature should be.

The decisions PMs make are the ones that unblock their team so they can continue to build. They don’t need to make every decision, but they are responsible for ensuring a decision gets made — whether by them, their team, or their stakeholders.

Product managers are the hedge against indecision, and it’s uniquely our job because we tend to have the most context in a company. Typically, the most important decisions that a PM makes are, in order:

  • Why a team exists (vision and the impact they aspire to create)
  • What the general approach is to accomplish the vision (strategy)
  • What to build now, and what not to build (project prioritization)
  • What the smallest thing that can be built is that achieves the impact (MVP)

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