When investing time and money into a software system, it’s important to put a measurement strategy in place. While this may sound obvious, many teams, after months of building the software, tend to overlook the necessity of tracking its performance post-launch. Teams that are failing to set and evaluate measurable outcomes are often:
- Enamored by features, constantly discussing the next “excitingly cool thing” they want to build.
- Conducting large re-factoring projects, trying to ensure their code is written properly.
- Struggling to recall the last time they gathered feedback, looked at that feedback and actually did something with it.
Establishing plans to measure outcomes before launching a new software system will ensure that your team collects the data it needs to make informed decisions. Not only will measurable outcomes give insights into your current project, but they’ll also offer valuable feedback and data that can be leveraged when embarking on subsequent projects.
Why Do Measurable Outcomes Matter?
When starting a new project, it’s easy to envision new features while neglecting to build what you’ve truly gained insight into. While the project may originate from great ideas, it’s crucial to direct long-term focus towards achieving desired business outcomes, such as increased revenue or a larger user base. Before introducing new software, it’s important to identify the metrics you need to demonstrate success. By thinking through the data your team needs to collect, you can justify further expansion into new features, and critically evaluate whether the investment is worthwhile.
Throughout the process, teams should continually ask themselves what decisions they need to make now based on insights from previous data. This ongoing feedback loop facilitates testing and iteration, driven by the crucial learnings uncovered at each stage. In some cases, the data may prompt a pivot, leading your team to reconsider the project, conduct additional user research or prioritize digital marketing and sales over the pursuit of the next groundbreaking productivity feature.
Failing to establish these measurement strategies prior to launching your product is akin to steering a car while blindfolded. While you may get lucky once in a while and manage not to crash your car, the odds are not in your favor. Without measurable outcomes, there’s a high risk of squandering time, effort and resources, impeding your team’s progress and hindering the collection of feedback that will help strengthen your product going forward.
Which Metrics Matters Most?
Teams often consider a project successful if it delivers all designated features on time and within budget. However, the true measure of success goes beyond feature completion; it lies in the delivery of substantial business value. Merely ticking off feature checkboxes doesn’t guarantee success if the project falls short in providing meaningful impact.
If you’re unsure whether or not your product is delivering business value, you may need to change your notion of “done.” Teams should shift their focus from rigid adherence to deadlines and time sheets to prioritizing customer satisfaction and fostering usage growth. Implementing a robust measurement strategy empowers your team to evaluate the product’s success and establish goals that yield meaningful outcomes. Successful software projects are those that measure the actual business impact achieved, going beyond conventional measures of schedule, scope and budget.
Software teams should consider a project incomplete until the product is measured and validated. When determining the most relevant metrics for your team and business, ask key questions such as:
- Are you increasing revenue?
- Are you attracting new users and receiving positive reviews?
- Are you driving down support needs?
- What is your customer retention rate?
- Are your acquisition costs justifiable in comparison to revenue?
Addressing these questions allows you to identify pain points and devise a plan to enhance product results. Establishing a measurement strategy from the start equips your team for a successful launch and validates the product’s value against broader business objectives.
Whether you’re already implementing measurable outcomes or are new to the concept of a measurement strategy, Augusto can seamlessly collaborate with product teams to achieve true business success. Contact Augusto to explore how we can help add value to your business.