Decision making meeting

Located in: Work
Status: 🌿 Budding


  • Make sure to save time at the end to summarize the decision made or next steps.
  • Come with a recommendation
  • Focus on one decision at a time. Ideally one decision per meeting. If you have multiple decisions, prioritize and go through them one by one.
  • Always end the meeting with one of 3 actions:
    • Agree to move ahead with the recommendation
    • A conditional decision based on certain data or questions (no need to meet again, just let people know async)
    • No decision but with clear next steps and a deadline to make the decision

Example Approach

This is just one approach to a dcision making meeting. You should edit as needed to deliver on the outcome.

Duration: 30 Purpose: Make a decision or provide clear feedback on the information needed to make a decision.


  • Write a document that outlines the background, the decision that needs to be made, the recommendation, and any alternative proposals. See 202107160720 Request for Comments (RFCs)
  • Always come to these meetings with a recommendation.
  • Avoid slide decks. A slide deck makes it easy to skip over details or going into depth.
  • Determine who needs to attend this meeting. Generally two roles:
    • Supports: They'll provide support or additional information on the decision
    • Deciders: They'll make the decision
  • Sometimes you'll invite people to "listen in" but they won't be actively participating. Avoid inviting these folks and instead share a summary of the meeting and why the decision was made.
  • Find a note taker before the meeting, it's important they document not only the action items but the reasoning behind those items/decisions. Try to rotate the note taker.
  • Share the document before the meeting, but don't expect people to read it before the meeting.

Running the meeting

  1. 5-10min: Give everyone time to read over the document and comment on it.
  2. 10-15min: Present the document and walk through the comments.
  3. 5-15min: Specifically discuss the recommended approach, at the end of the discussion ask the deciders if they agree with the recommendation.
  4. 5min: Review the action items from the meeting

Making the decision

Decision meetings generally end one of three ways:

  1. Agree to move ahead with the proposed recommendation
    • Document that the decision has been made.
    • Share the document and notes in a public Slack channel, specifically pinging folks that are impacted.
    • Mark the document as completed, and move it to a public folder.
  2. A conditional decision based on certain data or questions
  3. No decision
    • Understand what information or exploration is needed to make a decision
    • Set a date on when the decision can be reviewed