Testing is critical to creating new site features and functionality, but it’s not always the first stop on the road to decision making. This is especially true for organizations that are driven by a siloed mentality. When departments do not share information with other departments in the same company, they risk spending unnecessary development time on new features that could be performance losers.
Corey Trent, Managing Partner, Convincify, and former A/B Testing Manager at Fanatics, Inc., spoke about this dilemma at SiteSpect’s Regional Optimization Exchange (ROX) in San Francisco last week. According to Trent, it’s up to the CRO team to create a testing-based culture that enables collaboration across siloed departments. Collaborative testing drives benefits to the entire organization, including:
- Increases morale and talent retention. Contributing to test ideation and participating in test creation is a nice outlet for talented Developers. By involving them in “skunk work” projects you can help them stay motivated and help the IT team retain good talent. Many times, the developers you want to retain are looking to have a say in the work they conduct on a day-to-day basis beyond dealing with ever-growing work queues or high-pressure requests. This is where testing can help provide a relief valve. Facilitating “lunch and learns” and providing “hero awards” to particularly cooperative individuals is another great way to cement good will among internal teams. Award winners often become evangelists for your program throughout the enterprise, which can pay long-term dividends.
- Helps arbitrate decisions and saves development cycles. If your company is like most, anytime you plan to add a feature, you find plenty of passionate opinions. Before committing unnecessary development cycles to a roadmap item, the Development team should work with the CRO team to build a small-scale prototype within your testing tool, and run tests to assess the viability of the new feature. A/B and multivariate tests are a great way to check if features, designs, or functionality engage your target audience. Use analytics from your tests to help reconcile differing opinions and let the data steer the decision. Be sure to warehouse your test results as a reference point and use data-driven findings to plan new tests.
- Knowledge=Power. Trent advises CRO teams to share a testing calendar and results with other parts of the company. This helps raise awareness of the goals you’re working towards, and further cements testing as part of the corporate culture. He also mentioned working closely with Finance and Analytics to quantify your efforts and help stakeholders understand the true impact of your work beyond just percentage gains.
Has your organization adopted cross-silo collaboration? Let us know how it’s working by leaving a comment below: