Bain’s RAPID Framework for Product Managers: A Step-by-Step Guide to Problem Solving

Rohit Verma
5 min readFeb 20, 2024

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Have you ever found yourself in the throes of a project, surrounded by decision-making chaos, unclear roles, and escalating conflicts among team members? As Product Managers, steering the ship through such turbulent waters can be daunting. The key to navigating these challenges lies in a clear, structured approach to decision-making. Enter Bain’s RAPID Framework, a beacon of clarity in the murky waters of product management.

What is the RAPID Framework?

Developed by Bain & Company, the RAPID Framework is a tool designed to streamline decision-making processes within organizations. RAPID is an acronym that stands for Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, and Decide. This framework not only clarifies roles and responsibilities but also ensures that all relevant voices are heard, making the decision-making process both efficient and democratic.

A quick mind for you 👇

How Can Product Managers Leverage the RAPID Framework?

As a Product Manager, your role involves a myriad of decisions, from feature prioritization to resource allocation. The RAPID Framework can transform this decision-making maze into a structured journey. Let’s break it down step by step:

Step 1: Recommend

The journey begins with recommendations. In this stage, individuals or teams propose actions based on their expertise or analysis. For example, your UX team might recommend enhancing the user interface for better accessibility.

Actionable Tip: Encourage a culture where team members feel empowered to make data-driven recommendations. Provide them with the tools and information needed to analyze and propose solutions effectively.

Step 2: Agree

The Agree step involves key stakeholders who must support the recommendation for it to move forward. These stakeholders could include senior management, cross-functional leaders, or even key customers. Continuing our example, the Product and Design leads would need to agree with the UX team’s recommendation, ensuring it aligns with the overall product strategy and user needs.

Actionable Tip: Facilitate regular cross-functional meetings to discuss and align on recommendations. Ensure that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of the implications and benefits of the proposed actions.

Step 3: Perform

In the Perform stage, individuals or teams are tasked with executing the decision. This is where the rubber meets the road. If the decision was to enhance the user interface, the UX and Development teams would now work on implementing the changes.

Actionable Tip: Define clear objectives, timelines, and KPIs for the implementation phase. Regular check-ins and agile methodologies can help keep the team on track and adaptable to changes.

Step 4: Input

Input is crucial for informed decision-making. This involves gathering insights, data, and feedback from a broad range of sources to inform the decision at hand. For instance, collecting user feedback through surveys or A/B testing could provide valuable insights into the proposed UI enhancements.

Actionable Tip: Develop a systematic approach for collecting and analyzing input. Leverage tools like user analytics, feedback platforms, and stakeholder interviews to gather comprehensive insights.

Step 5: Decide

Finally, the Decide step assigns the responsibility of making the final decision to a specific individual, usually a senior leader or the Product Manager. This person considers all the recommendations, agreements, performance plans, and inputs before making an informed decision.

Actionable Tip: Ensure that the decision-maker is equipped with all necessary information and insights. A structured decision-making template or dashboard that summarizes the key points can aid in this process.

Putting It All Together: A Real-World Example

Imagine you’re the Product Manager for a popular productivity app, and user feedback indicates that the app’s task management feature is not intuitive. Here’s how you could apply the RAPID Framework:

  • Recommend: The UX team conducts user research and recommends a redesign of the task management feature to improve intuitiveness.
  • Agree: You discuss this recommendation with the Engineering and Design leads in a cross-functional meeting, and they agree with the proposed redesign.
  • Perform: The UX designers and developers are assigned to perform the redesign, following a detailed plan and timeline.
  • Input: You gather input from beta testers and analyze usage data from the redesigned feature’s initial rollout.
  • Decide: Based on the positive feedback and improved user engagement metrics, you, as the Product Manager, decide to fully implement the redesigned task management feature across the app.

Concluding thoughts!

The RAPID Framework is more than just an acronym; it’s a strategic compass for Product Managers navigating the complex seas of decision-making. By clearly defining roles, encouraging informed recommendations, and ensuring systematic execution, the RAPID Framework can help you lead your product to success with confidence and clarity. So next time you’re faced with a daunting decision, remember RAPID — it might just be the structured approach you need to solve your problem effectively.

Thanks for reading! If you’ve got ideas to contribute to this conversation please comment. If you like what you read and want to see more, clap me some love! Follow me here, or connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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Rohit Verma

Senior Product Manager @AngelOne, ex-@Flipkart, @Cleartrip @IIM Bangalore. https://topmate.io/rohit_verma_pm