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10 Benefits to Amazon's 6 pager PRFAQ

Amazon has an unusual culture built around writing. With all of the information consuming that I do I'm surprised that I did not learn about this until now. I learned about it here:

The Importance of Story-Telling in Software Engineering

Amazon’s Cult of the 6-pager: why narrative matters

@carloarg02?source=post_page-----99004efda25f--------------------------------" target="_blank">Carlos Arguelles

Some people refer to this as PRFAQ: Press Release Frequently Asked Questions 

10 Benefits to Amazon's 6 pager PRFAQ

    1. Jeff Bezos famously banned PowerPoint at executive meetings to be replaced with a text-only document less than six pages long with no bullet points.

    "Amazon uses one document format above all others: the PRFAQ, Press Release & Frequently Asked Questions." This document is written BEFORE you write any code! It is a great way to keep focused on user requirements. The Press Release portion is less than 1.5 pages and be all text. There is frequently a one sentence summary. The FAQ can potentially contain wireframes, etc.

    learn more about PRFAQs here:

    PR FAQs for Product Documents

    @robert.munro?source=post_page-----942485961e31--------------------------------" target="_blank">Robert (Munro) Monarch

    "A PR FAQ follows a fairly strict format:

    1. A Press Release (PR), written from the future point-of-view of when the new product is released.
    2. A Public FAQ, detailing the questions that a customer might have about the product, written as if it is public product documentation that is released at the same time as the PR.
    3. An Internal FAQ, answering any questions from internal stakeholders that have come up during the product development process."


    "Why does the PR FAQ format work?

    The PR/FAQ format works because it is:

    1. Customer-centric
    2. Forcing your assumptions to be explicit
    3. Interpretable by any stakeholder
    4. Increases the ownership of stakeholders
    5. Simple enough to be created by any stakeholder"

    "Any feedback that a person gives can be immediately added as a question to one of the FAQs. This is a great way to ensure that people have their voices heard: they can see their actual words in the product document right away."

    2. Writing forces you to think about your idea instead of funny memes for your slide deck

    3. Limiting to 6 pages forces you to summarize your thoughts

    4. At Amazon there is a deep culture around reviewing and editing these 6 pagers in meetings

    Time was allotted for everyone to read at the beginning of a meeting. Paper copies and pens would be distributed. Weasel words and fluff were mercilessly stricken.

    "Matter-of-fact tone, and quantifiable statements, over fluff. Objective data should replace subjective opinions whenever possible. As engineers, we should strive for precise writing."

    5. I can use PRFAQs for my own projects

    I can see the value. I have had many "build it and they will come" projects where nobody came.

    6. The same document can be used by all departments at once

    There is no mystery about how and why something is being built. It can be used by marketing, operations, developers, etc.

    7. The concept can be discussed in great detail before work begins

    Because it needs to be explained in a single page (with supplementary pages) there is less opportunity for feature creep.

    8. I just used this yesterday: it works!

    The act of writing things down turned a vague idea into actionable plans.

    9. These are supposed to be living documents

    Every time someone asks a question, add it to the FAQ portion!

    10. I will need to find “sneaky” ways to integrate this into my life

    I interact with people that are, ahem, resistant to new ideas. By simply presenting ideas in this format I can follow this PRFAQ format even if nobody else does.

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