When I work with my clients I find I can increase the speed and effectiveness of the work by focusing first on the executive team’s opinions. We call these hypotheses or assumptions, but the premise is the same: if we start with an answer we usually get to a better solution faster, even if it is different to the one we started with.

The process I use is summarised in the chart, and I call it the ‘4A Framework’.

The 4A Framework


The first step is to clearly define the issue at hand, but it is the second step that is critical. Rather than seeking to ‘boil the ocean’ with analysis, you set out your initial view on the alternative solutions, and then, based on your existing knowledge of your business and your markets, take a high-level view of which alternative you believe is best.

This allows you to focus your analysis, increasing the pace and effectiveness of your decision-making.

© Stuart Cross 2009. All rights are reserved.