Four components to measuring success of your product / release.

Whatever you are working on will eventually end up with a new or updated product being released. Prior to that release date, consideration should be given to how to measure success.

There are four components to measuring success:
1 – Determine what is to be measured.
What is the new or improved product supposed to achieve? Hopefully you already know the answer to this prior to even starting development.
A business should have clearly defined goals as to what is expected via the release of the new or improved product. These goals should be quantifiable in a mathematical way even if you have to hire a PHD mathematician to determine the formula that quantifies it.

a – Game averages 1000 downloads per day over a 3 month period.
b – LED Lightbulb increases market share for our brand over others.
c – New website design increases revenue from marketing and attracts more visitors.

2 – Identify Channels to supply the measurement information.
Now that you know what you plan to measure for success, the next question is where to get this information from?
Channels of information can come in many different ways:
a – Data could be collected from social media site such as Facebook to see how many positive comments a new product gets.
b – Sales information could be tracked from online and physical stores.
c – Surveys could be performed on potential and actual customers.
d – Certain key words/phrases could be searched on in the Search Engines.

3 – Integrate and absorb the data from the Channels.
Once the source of the measurements has been identified, the next step is the actual integration of this data into your reporting system so that it can be sliced and diced to provide the measurement of success reports. Your PHD mathematician may also be needed here to weight the data accordingly so that no one channel skews the results unrealistically.

4 – Present the success data to the consumers.
Finally with all the data, reports can be designed / generated or data outputted for consumption by those who will make the determination that the goals have been achieved. At this point knowing who the consumers of the information is becomes critical as you need to present the data in a format that the consumers can understand and consume. You may need to engage UI/UX experts at this point if the presentation is using new technology so that they can help design the presentation.

Reports – Cheap Approach

September 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Excel, Requirements Gathering Tips, ROI 

Reports can be a low ROI (return on investment) and this post discusses ways to make them affordable.

Reports present information. This information can be needed by many different types of people. Where report development costs is when you have expensive developers creating them. Developers should be focused on only providing access to the data required.

Creating a report involves:

  1. Defining Who Needs a Report and Why.
  2. Defining What Data should be on the Report.
  3. Defining What the Report Should Look Like.
  4. Defining How The Report Should be Delivered.

Step 1: Who Needs a Report and Why?

Asking these questions validates the need for the report. If you cannot show why someone needs a report in a measurable way then it is difficult to justify.

Step 2: What Data should be on the Report?

This is where you and the Developer work together. The Developer role is to provide access to the Data that you or the business have identified the Report will need.

Step 3: What the Report Should Look Like?

The Developer should not be engaged for this, instead the business should have access to tools that allow them to create Report Layouts. It could be as simple as Excel or a complete stand alone reporting system like Crystal Reports. By not using the Developer to build the Report Layouts you reduce cost by using cheaper staff to build them.

Step 4: How the Report Should be Delivered?

As for Step 3 the Business needs access to tools that allow them to setup and maintain Delivery of Reports.

By removing the Developer from certain Tasks, costs can be reduced for Report Creation and Maintenance.  This also  increases the business flexibility as they do not have to wait for a Developer Resource to modify Report Layouts or Change Delivery methods.