J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Precision Questions and Precision Answers

Precision Questions and Precision Answers

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I shared my notes from Precision Questions and Precision Answers training on Sources of Insight.   It's one of the most effective training sessions I've taken at Microsoft.  My notes are bit old, so they're a bit rough, but you can get the main ideas.  To summarize it, Precision Questions and Precision Answers, or PQ / PA for short, is a technique for improving your communication efficiency and critical thinking.  It's especially important for exec reviews, but you can use it for any scenario where the complexity is high and you need to explore assumptions and test information.  It works by using a structured approach to explore questions in 7 categories:

  1. Go / NoGo
  2. Clarification
  3. Assumptions
  4. Basic Critical Question
  5. Causes
  6. Effects
  7. Action

It's not for scenarios where you want to brainstorm or build rapport, but it's incredibly effective for improving your thinking and improving your effectiveness at work.