Why I write decision-making frameworks

Over the past several months, I have found myself to have written a fairly large number of internal decision making frameworks. These have ranged from defining a means to think about the information architecture on LinkedIn’s Job Search components (specifically, our job cards and details pane) to recommendations on how to evaluate A/B tests. And even though I’ve always liked to write, in retrospect I’m surprised at the volume.

So, why did I do it?

First and foremost, it was to share how I thought and made decisions to partner teams. Writing allows me to fine-tune my thoughts even if I’m the only member of the audience, which means the partner teams get to hear (or read) my opinion when it has been thought through. Equally, I found myself repeating the same points over and over again in different settings to different people. Putting it down on paper allowed me to point them to an internal link to understand my rationale in depth, with supporting data in there to offer why I thought the way I did.

Secondly, and this goes hand in hand with the first point, I look at frameworks as living documents that will get amended. If someone disagrees with me, they have an opportunity (via comments or suggested edits which are always high encouraged) to share their perspective and help reshape my opinion. I’ve received some invaluable feedback and recommendations from a number of amazing people I get to work with which has (a) helped make the frameworks better (b) helped me think differently in all future decisions, even when unrelated to the original framework itself.

Lastly, and arguably the most important reason in my opinion: continuity. Frameworks allow for continuity in decision making which helps teams commit to a long term strategy. There are two variables that can often hurt those strategies: changing opinions and changing personnel.

I’ve guilty of the former, but have found frameworks valuable to avoid rash decisions. The latter has been a circumstance the Careers team at LinkedIn has found itself in given its going through a significant period of growth. The frameworks have helped new members of our teams as they ramp up (or at least they say so to me!), while equally keeping the boat steady without losing velocity. It has allowed me to give away my legos with complete trust.