Let’s say your insurance organization has just embarked on a months-long agile journey to create a customer-facing digital product, such as a new web app. Your organization – from the C-suite to IT to Sales – is fully focused on making the digital product a success.
But what exactly is success?
Digital products like a mobile app, a website, or a customer portal allow you to measure user interactions at a very granular level. But detailed user analytics on their own cannot necessarily signal success unless the KPIs are aligned with your organization’s strategic objectives.
Many insurance organizations today struggle to define and tactically measure the success of their digital products.
Organizations will sometimes embark on the development of a new digital product, building and deploying bit by bit. But instead of adapting the app’s development plan based on early usage statistics and user feedback, they often simply follow the requirements that were mapped out at the beginning of the project without much inspection and adaptation. In the end, they don’t fully realize the benefits of Agile development.
At other times, organizations can fail to identify features most critically tied to their organization’s strategic objectives. Because certain features are not mapped to desired outcomes, there can be a lack of urgency to measure, iterate, and improve on them. In this case, the focus is too often on implementing the next new thing – which may or may not be aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives.
Why a Digital Product Measurement Strategy Matters
An explicit digital product measurement strategy empowers the development team to collect feedback about how people are using the product. That information can then be used to make data-driven decisions on what to prioritize next, on what to improve on, and on whether the value to be returned even justifies continued investment.
Let’s get specific and look at three ways that your organization’s digital product measurement – when connected with broader organizational objectives – can bring transformative changes to every facet of your organization.
- A product measurement strategy linked to organizational objectives can help you determine what features to add next.
We’ve all seen it before: A company spends two years working on a digital product, but its leadership could not tell you anything about the impact it has had on the business – let alone the feature-specific impact. If you are building out a digital product with agile, each two-week sprint should tackle the next feature most critical to the organization’s overall objectives. You can only do this if each feature is traceable to discrete value hypotheses. This allows you to continually optimize your bets. When you stop seeing the value return for the dollars you’re putting in, then you can move on to another critical feature, product, or portfolio.
- A product measurement strategy linked to organizational objectives can help you determine on which features to improve or iterate.
Spoiler alert: it’s not always the next feature from the list you built out 6 months ago. When you have established a digital product measurement strategy, sometimes you will find that your agile sprints would be better used revisiting and improving a pre-existing feature. Organizations tend to have a bias towards adding new features, new capabilities, and new products over improving the old. The beauty of measurement is that it helps to direct attention to the most important parts of a given digital portfolio – whether there’s an opportunity to exceed expectations or perhaps to address an area of critical failure.
- A product measurement strategy linked to organizational objectives can help you learn more about the overall value of the product.
When designing a product measurement strategy, you will need to make a hypothesis about a product’s impact and value within the company. Then as you build it out feature by feature, and as you iterate on these features, your understanding of the product’s overall contribution to the company will evolve. Your first assumptions and hypotheses might miss the mark, but over time leaders will get better at anticipating what’s important to improve and what’s more likely to be successful in the future.
When you’re hypothesizing and test assumptions founded on a product measurement strategy, you’re also inherently learning more about your customers and the direction of your overall business. Think of every new digital feature as an opportunity to get smarter as a company. An intentional measurement strategy equips you to trace and validate value delivered, allowing the operationalization of your business strategy.
Want to go deeper on this topic? Connect with us to find out how DMI can help you build a digital product measurement strategy for your organization.