A few months ago our CEO Aaron attended QCon New York to talk about how to create a results driven culture for your mobile team. In his talk Aaron went into great depths as to why having a results driven approach drives success and why it's so critical for mobile apps. I attached his full talk below, and if you have some time, it's definitely a worthwhile watch. For this post, I want to focus on some of the key takeaways from his talk about setting up a results driven culture.
At Taplytics, we talk a lot about being results driven because there is more to driving results for an app than just analytics. Analytics is a must to collect data and should be one of the first things on the to-do list before an app launch. Unfortunately, though, analytics and data on it's own can steer teams in the wrong directions. Data doesn’t show meaning and doesn't correlate to you what you are working on, or what you are trying to achieve. By just collecting data, especially when you are trying to collect everything, your data begins to become noise and you begin to look for ways to “justify” everything you do. The major problem with just collecting and analyzing data is there is no way to guarantee that the changes you make are the reason for a change in your data.
Being results driven is a whole new way to think about your app and your business as a whole. A results driven mentality goes well beyond setting up a few pretty dashboards. Now before we go any further don’t go and scrap your whole analytics system. In a results driven culture there's still a role for analytics, it's just not the main event. Analytics is powerful when looking for trends and identifying areas your team needs to focus on, but beyond that teams can struggle when they don’t have a metrics focused, results driven approach in place.
So how do you become results driven?
Being results driven really comes down to a simple iteration cycle. A results driven team has a three-stage approach to any problem they encounter.
This is where tools like A/B testing thrive, because you can test and see exactly if the changes you are making are having a direct impact on your key metric while controlling for external factors.
If you want to learn more about driving this iteration cycle, we wrote an Academy post that has a more in-depth look at what it means to be results driven and how to choose your key metrics.
How are results driven organizations structured?
Companies that are results driven have the most success when their teams are cross-functional with each team having a metric that they own and work to improve. Typical teams are organized based on key functional areas of their mobile app (Check out, on-boarding, etc.). These teams will include members from engineering, marketing, design, product managers and they will work together to improve a common goal. This is key to success because each team can now be held accountable for their metric, and they have the resources and tools within their team to make it happen.
Even if you have a small team, you can still take steps to structure things in this way. You just might only have one cross-functional team to start where everyone is working to drive a single key metric. Your team will just need to prioritize what areas of your application you need focus on first. Focus is always key.
As you grow your organization and your results driven strategy, new hypotheses and testing ideas will just come naturally. This is a function of setting up appropriate metric tracking, as problem areas will stick out like sore thumbs. Pretty soon every new idea will become a test because it's the only way to truly understand how your users will react.
Aaron touched on a lot of great things in his talk and my post only covers a very small portion of it. Aaron goes into a great explanation of why mobile is so much different from web, in terms of strategy. He also dives into a practical example about how one of our customers uses a results driven approach to drive their growth. Again if you have some time I definitely think it's worth checking out. :)