It’s my favourite time of year. Coziness, the smell of pine and cooking, and of course, deep conversations and thoughts about life. I’ve never been a terribly accomplished goal setter, despite my joy in achieving goals. Since realizing that I prefer to have values or themes, and to remain opportunistic in searching for ways to follow through on those principles, I’ve come to really enjoy a Year in Review come December.

Perhaps you can describe it as knowing what I want clearly in very general terms, and being quite free on the details. It’s not ‘SMART’, but it works for me. …

‘Waterfall’ methods of developing product get a bad rap — and for good reason. Building software is extremely expensive, and so building the wrong thing by not integrating user feedback, the major risk of waterfall methods, is something you should avoid like the plague.

Except that’s a lie.There are cases where being wrong is the better failure mode than being late. In these situations, being able to strategically deploy a waterfall method, with its upfront planning, can be really powerful.

Being wrong is the worst

Understanding whether a software project is “worth it” by doing a cost-benefit analysis is very difficult because of the unknown unknowns that cause time estimates, our best guess of the costs, to often be inaccurate. The bigger the problem, the more unknowns there are. Using agile methods to break the work down into tiny little chunks means you can estimate more accurately and iterate through the backlog until yay, you’re done! …

One of the questions I hear most about our globally distributed team at Buffer is “how do you document decisions”? In a remote team, a more intentional method of making and documenting decisions is needed to help everyone stay in the loop. I believe being intentional about sharing decisions increases the quality of decision making and builds stronger alignment for all types of teams, too.

Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash

1. Clarify the decision

If you have a nebulous problem statement, it’ll be really hard to pin point what, if anything, was decided. It’s then much harder to communicate that. To communicate decisions effectively, you need a clear statement of what that decision is. …

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