Here’s a brief overview of each stage of the AP. We’ll then explore each in more detail.
Concept: Someone wants to do something that involves change (i.e. a decision that is outside standard operating procedures OR is a decision that others in the company may benefit from knowing). Anyone can come up with a concept and we encourage them to; we want people to be creative.
Confirm the decision maker: Confirming the decision maker is a critical role of leaders within EE. Anyone can create an idea which is actively encouraged, but where there are material amounts of company resources in play (whether in terms of time, money or impact), then there are key considerations as to who takes responsibility for it (eg. proximity to the problem, perspective / understanding of the wider context, alignment to EE values).
Advice & Analysis: These constitute the main mechanics of the AP. The decision maker should be talking to people who will be impacted by the decision, and also those who are experts in the field. In other words, making the decision is not just a case of shooting from the hip, going with your gut, or relying solely on personal experience.
This stage also covers breaking up the decision into smaller parts, thinking about how to implement and test the decision (the creation of a learning loop). The important thing is to enter this stage with an open mind (which may include strong opinions, loosely held).
Decision: Make a decision to pivot, persevere or abandon the initiative, based on listening to advice and acting upon your own assessment. Remember this is your decision; listen to advice, but don’t design by committee!
Build: Build your product. Iteratively building an MVP that tests if the idea has traction.
Measure: Implement your initiative and use data to judge its success (or not). Take care not to conflate a good decision with a bad outcome!
Learn and Complete your AP: Measuring and learning will lead to further MVPs until complete. Share your learnings with the rest of the company (eg. via our monthly AP Learnings meeting).