I was chatting with a colleague about the various frameworks I use in my daily life. It seemed wise to write them down, so here are a few of my favorites as of this moment!
I learned about BAMCIS only a handful of years ago. This has become my core framework and one that always works.
Here’s the acronym breakdown:
- B – Begin the Planning – what do you want to do?
- A – Arrange for Reconnaissance – what information do you need to complete your plan?
- M – Make Reconnaissance – go get that information, repeat until 75%+ confident
- C – Complete the Planning – complete your plan
- I – Issue the Order – tell the people that need to know
- S – Supervise – make sure it happens
Nothing earth shattering here, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s simple and easy to follow.
I treat the B-A-M-C portion as a loop. Gathering information means revealing gaps in the plan. If you get enough information to feel 75%+ confident in the plan, it’s time to go. The amount of energy and effort it takes to acquire that last bit of confidence rises logarithmically. Just bake in some wiggle room for acceptable error bars.
Once the work is happening and people know about it, keep them informed and hold yourself accountable to see things to some sort of ending. The average person will launch a project and then go dark. Great communication is the key to great work.
Another good one is the OODA loop. This is a framework used for quick decision making. Quick decisions are the building blocks of teams operating at model velocity. No one likes a person who waffles on decisions. It’s a blocker and the anathema to high performance teams.
Here’s the acronym breakdown:
- O – Observe – notice a risk, issue, decision, or whatever it is that’s going on
- O – Orient – get as much necessary information in front of you as possible, and adopt a perspective that is aligned with finding a solution
- D – Decide – figure out which option makes the most sense with the data available
- A – Act – influence, change, and do things – then repeat the loop
Strive to get the majority of the information you need, but just like with BAMCIS, don’t focus on getting 100% of it. There will always be unknown unknowns. Being able to make quick(er) decisions isn’t just about being speedy, it’s about obviating the heavy costs of low velocity. Iteration of quick decisions is the smart way to a quality solution, versus making one big, slow decision later.
Another level of context is the type of decision being made. Is this a reversible “two-way door” decision? Great, no big deal. If it’s a irreversible “one-way door” decision, meaning that once it’s done there’s no way to revert back, that’s when you should move with more caution. Bezos refers to this as Type 1 or Type 2 decisions.
Make mistakes. Experiment. Learn. Grow. Get it right. Share with others. Teach.
Setting expectations is a good idea in any scenario. It makes what needs to be done clear and actionable by all involved. A RACI makes it easier to define roles and set expectations.
The acronym is:
- R – Responsible – who is on the hook to do the work?
- A – Accountable – who is going to make sure the work done?
- C – Consulted – who has input or data that we need?
- I – Informed – who needs to stay in the loop for information?
For each task, there will be someone (perhaps even the same person) assigned to be Responsible and Accountable. In smaller projects, it’s often the same person. In larger projects, you may be the one doing the work, and your project manager or people leader is accountable for making sure it gets done to whatever standards were agreed upon by the team. These two roles should be aligned on the work and sharing progress and blockers with regular frequency.
Consulted is your crew. They are the people that have input and data to help drive the task to success. They may not be decision makers or doing the work, but they make it better. Think of this as a type of steering committee.
The Informed folks are the “FYI” of the bunch. This can often be a long list of people or groups. It could also be a neighbor, a people leader, or a client. These people are impacted by the project but are not directly involved with the work itself, usually.
Last, but not least, I use a variety of self reflection tools. Looking into the mirror can be no-fun at times, and I certainly still act like a 🥔 potato from time to time, but I prefer to know my gaps and where I need to grow.
Here’s the tools I like using:
- DISC Assessment – my favorite, if you do only one, do this one
- Gallup Strengths Finder
- The Predictive Index
Consider this a “custom framework.” Use these assessment tools to better understand yourself, your motivations, how you prefer to communicate, and how you work. What you learn should effect how you use the BAMCIS, OODA, and RACI frameworks. This is your own personal feedback loop for iterative growth.
Heck, share the results with others who give a hoot. My results are posted on my personal Slalom Confluence space for any colleague to read. I also like reading other’s results to be a better partner.
As you operate, get someone else’s perspective about you. Keep these tools in mind, and compare growth areas with the feedback you receive. Take it all with a grain of salt. However, no one is perfect; if you aren’t aware of any growth areas, that’s a red flag!
- How are your self reflections changing?
- What are you focused on learning and how is that going?
- Do your goals align with your growth, or do you need to make some pivots?
- Are you happy with the current results, or hungry for change?
- Is actionable feedback getting to you regularly, or do you need to tweak your process / inner circle?