From establishing product-market fit to clocking your overstretched PM, there are many clues to tell you when it’s time to scale. But how do you track the success of scaling a product team? And how do you demonstrate that success to the wider business?
First and foremost, you need to have the right level of data maturity in place. Because if you don't have the data, not only will you be flying blind when making product decisions, but you'll also be missing critical yardsticks that will resonate with your other stakeholders.
But if your data game is strong, there are more than a few ways to track and communicate the success of a scaling product team. Below we share the top tips from senior product leaders that surfaced during our recent ‘How product drives change’ webinar.
There’s no success without failure in product. Employing an MVP strategy will allow you to measure success in short, sharp bursts, keeping you on the right track and helping you reach your goals faster.
But, before employing an MVP strategy it's important to remember: “MVP is not a North Star. Consider how you would get it back to a point where you can build it in three months."
“MVP is knowing you’re going to get it wrong. It’s about figuring out how to get to the learnings as quickly as possible to reduce the costs of getting it wrong and the overall time it takes to get it right.” says Simon Jaffery-Reed, Chief Product Officer at Chambers and Partners.
MVP is about figuring out how to get to the learnings as quickly as possible and reduce the costs of getting it wrong
When it comes to MVP, every product is unique. There’s no one-size-fits-all. But no matter what your MVP looks like, you should be able to use it as a barometer for success that you can easily report back on.
Agreeing on success metrics from the outset sounds pretty straightforward, but you’d be surprised how often this information isn’t shared with the wider organisation. Communicating your metrics not only keeps your team accountable but also helps set expectations and demonstrate success to other stakeholders.
Accomable founder, Srin Madipalli, explains: “Picking the right metrics is the core of product management. It’s all about choosing the right number that you need to move. Measure weekly, and present this measurement to the entire company.”
Measure weekly, and present this measurement to the entire company
The same applies to defining your North Star. “Think about where you are today and where you’d like to get to. Define a North Star and then work out what baby steps you need to guide your path to get there,” offers Simon. You can then use each baby step as a success marker for your team and the wider business.
When picking your North Star metrics, less is more. Having 1 or 2 tangible metrics as the headline helps teams stay focused on what's really important. Getting alignment is key.
In larger organisations, it’s not uncommon for departments to work in silos, leading to competing priorities and a lack of understanding of other functions' roles in reaching business goals. Beyond your own KPIs, demonstrating how product is delivering for other departments is another good way to show success.
For example, using A/B testing to evidence improved conversion rates or introducing email capture in the onboarding flow is likely to resonate with a commission-based sales force and CRM team, respectively. It’s also likely to promote a more collaborative culture and an appreciation for product's role in the wider business.
In terms of how you scale successfully, you need to get the wins early
Simon explains, “All of a sudden, you've got an organisation that's like, okay, what else can you do? And they're trying to pull stuff out of product. It reverses the roles a little bit. So, in terms of how do you scale successfully, you need to get the wins early.”
Ready to start tracking the success of your scaling product team? Our product managers recommend this piece by Future on diving deeper into KPIs and North Star metrics.
Play back the full conversation with Srin, Simon and Becky on our event page to learn how to kickstart your transformation into a product-led business.