My product management toolkit (42): Integrative Thinking

  • We consider a number of choices, discussing the pros and cons of each choice or option.
  • If data is available, we’ll present data for each option.
  • We vote for our favoured choice (dot voting is a nice technique to use here).
  • We end up with a single choice that we can or can’t all live with, and perhaps we made compromise to get to the final decision.
  1. Articulate the models — Understand the problem and opposing models more deeply.
  2. Examine the models — Define the points of tension, assumptions, and cause-and-effect forces.
  3. Explore the possibilities — Play with the pathways to integration.
  4. Assess the prototypes — Test and refine the possibilities.
  • Ask yourself how the models are similar and different.
  • Consider what you most value from the models as they’re articulated.
  • Question the models as you have articulated them and the benefits you’ve defined.
  • Explore the assumptions that underlie each model.
  • What are the cause-and-effect relationships there at work in the models?
  1. How might we create a new model using one building block from each opposing model, while throwing away the rest of each model?
  2. Under what conditions could a more intense version of one model actually generate one vital benefit of the other?
  3. How might the problem be broken apart in a new way so that each model could be applied in whole to distinct parts of the problem?



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Product at Intercom, author of "My Product Management Toolkit" and “Managing Product = Managing Tension” — see