Situation / Proposal Template (Video)
We always dance with issues. You may feel your team is having too many meetings. Maybe the timeline is too aggressive and the team stress out. Whenever you notice some issues in your team or company,
Assumed audience: People who notice an issue in the group setting and want to problem-solve it together with the team in a structured way.
We always dance with issues. You may feel your team is having too many meetings. Maybe the timeline is too aggressive and the team stress out. Whenever you notice some issues in your team or company, there are two options:
A: Complaint about it. Pro: It's satisfying to vent out with little effort. Con: The situation won't get better anytime soon.
B: Raise this issue to improve the situation. Pro: The situation could get better. Con: People may misunderstand you or the discussion becomes complicated.
Option A could be useful for ignoring something that's not the priority. But, there are times you seriously consider option B. Maybe you are responsible or have an innate drive to improve things. How should you go about it?
People will often bring up this issue and discuss it verbally, which is inefficient because it can get derailed quickly. Instead, I usually recommend people prepare a write-up so they can articulate the problem and get people's input in a more structured way. This write-up, called the Situation / Proposal template, includes the following:
*(Access the template here)
Situation: Briefly explains (1) the observation of something that’s not desirable, (2) the underlying root causes, and (3) the "so what" or the possible cost if the situation is not solved or improved.
Proposal: The solutions the group can consider to improve the situation. The proposer might not know the answer, but you have to make a guess even if you have low confidence. It is useful because by forcing yourself to think about the solution, you think through several considerations.
Discussion: A list of questions you want to pose for the group. Everyone will write their name and opinion on the situation and proposal in this part. This enables the team to tap into collective wisdom.
Decision: Write the decision to ensure everyone is on the same page about the decision.
Actions. If there's the next step. Make sure set a clear DRI. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of DRI, consider read this.
P.S. I am trying a new format where I insert the short video for people who prefer a verbal explanation. I find this useful to insert more nuances. But, let me know what you think.