While working with your team on an internal doc, say a spec to close a decision, follow the diamond structure of writing: start with a problem statement, go broad and evaluate all solutions, and then zero in on a solution.
When communicating the same with management follow pyramid structure: Start with the problem and your recommendation, and provide more information below.
- If you don’t go broad during the exploration mode, you get into an OR mentality vs AND. You don’t evaluate the pros and cons of all approaches well. You even end up missing the best solution.
- But once you are done with your homework, and are presenting a doc/email to your management, you get to the solution first. People at the top don’t have time to go through all options and figure out the solution. You have to be very clear about what your recommendation is. The detailed exploration is something you did to arrive at the right solution. Your CEO should not have to go through everything you did to arrive at the conclusion. Make her life easy. Also remember, not tailoring the doc well for the right audience might lead to random discussions and useless follow-ups.
- I prefer writing the first draft of my spec in diamond, and then once the spec is closed, turning it into a pyramid. Give the requirements upfront, while linking to more info at the bottom, in an appendix section.