Checklist Quick Select

Fail Better Checklist #6:
Make a Decision

You've done the hard work. Having carefully prioritized activities, designed tests, and implemented while managing your overall workflow, it's time for your payoff. Based on the information you've gathered, what will you do next? Make a decision.

1. Define a team process that works

Instead of reviewing data and making decisions in silos, pull the team together to review the information together.

Share the collected data and discuss if any critical information is missing that's needed to make an informed decision, then fill the gaps to the extent that's feasible.

If your team lacks skills to make the most of the information you've collected, bring in an expert to help.

Once you have the best set of information you can gather, discuss how this information supports or disproves your prediction.

Identify the ramifications of your findings for your project goals and deliverables.

2. Intersperse deeper project check-in points every now and then, as you take repeated trips around the action loop:

Identify the unplanned surprises and discoveries, both good and bad, that have emerged, along with your planned tests. Apply after-action analysis (looking at the data and making a decision) to the unplanned surprises to uncover any implications for your project.

Revisit your project's plans and rationale - your project impact map, deliverables list, work plan, stakeholder map, and anything else you think important to reconsider - to assess if your thinking and plans need to change in any way. Look at your experience and the data you've gathered with a critical eye.

Check on your project process. Consider whether your team has everything it needs, how team members are functioning together, and if communication processes are working as intended. Adjust as needed. Flag areas where you see the team as a whole or its members would benefit from professional development or other support.

3. Specify your next steps

Choose your next step. Will you make adjustments to a product mock-up and gather feedback again? Will you change a core process your team has been using? Will you redefine the deliverable or pursue a different test or avenue all together?

Document the conclusions and inferences your team has drawn from the data. This provides a pathway back to your decision-making process.

Archive data that could be needed in the future.

If you're still in the process of creating your deliverables, testing ideas, or developing product concepts, begin again. Determine what's next in your journey around the action loop.

If you're done with deliverables and your project is wrapping up, it's time to move on to the next stage where you'll embed what you've learned through this project.