One of the essential conversations within projects is The Talk About Decisions. This is where you sit down with your sponsor and say: “Listen, son. We need to make decisions. Choices. Have to make them. Hear me?!” Or something more appropriate.
Before you grasp for your “10 Dimensional Decision Grid From Techno Heaven“, take a short moment and look around you. Those friendly people, with those fresh, creative and social faces, do you honestly believe they share your Excel enthusiasm?
Answer “yes”? Then knock yourself out!
Answer “no”? Use the Signpost Map.
Every project road has forks in them. Points where you can go left or right. Points where you have to go left or right.
Some things you have to decide early on, some things can be decided almost at the end of the journey. It is important to focus the attention of team members and stakeholders on these decisive moments. Not just on the content of the actual decision. But more on the fact that these forks in the road are coming and cannot be ignored.
Focus attention on the signpost on the road of your Big Adventure.
That’s what the Signpost Map does.
On a white board draw a road with forks in it, and put a signpost (3 lines make up an incredible signpost) next to each fork. First brainstorm a list of topics that decisions have to be made about. Then place the topics along the road in order of appearance. Finally, discuss the options for each decision.
This is not an exercise you do once in the beginning. This is a technique you can use any time to focus just on the decisions that are needed.
The Signpost Map is part of a change/project management strategy focused on culture and using an “adventure travel” metaphor. For more maps and exercise, visit my list of Shrinkonian exercises.