I usually split decisions into ‘reversible‘ and ‘irreversible‘ (or very hard to reverse) decisions. For reversible decisions, it makes sense to experiment and test things out incrementally but for irreversible decisions I really like the gut->data->gut framework which I first heard nicely articulated by Sukhinder Singh Cassidy here.
Whenever I’m at an irreversible decision, I always write down my gut instinct at the beginning of the decision making process. I then come up with a structured framework to collect any data and rank order options against each other along the relevant dimensions. At the end of this process I put aside the analysis and then go with my gut.
The data gathering and analysis phase is really to make sure that there are no big gaps in my thinking and to make sure that one option is not clearly better or worse than another along more objective measures.
As I’ve gotten older and applied this framework over and over again my gut instinct at the start and and the end is usually much more consistent.
This same framework is also useful when deciding what to build and prioritizing as a product manager and having to trade off features against each other.