Agile product development depends on constant evaluation and course correction. To make this happen, collect feedback from your users and stakeholders. Picture this: Your scrum team has just completed a sprint on a digital product. With the Agile mindset, you believe your team has made a big step towards the users’ core needs and brought business value. But belief is rarely enough in the world of product development. How can you prove that you’ve made improvements?

Setting clear goals before each sprint ensures everyone is on the same page. Then, when the sprint is over, collecting both objective and subjective feedback allows your team to see how it met pre-established goals. Below, we’ll look at each step of the process and show how Programmers can help along the way.

Establishing Goals for Business Value and User Need

Before you begin collecting user feedback, you need to develop a clear goal for the digital product. This goal should reflect the business value this product has for your company or your client. As we discussed in our user stories article, you do not have a viable product without business value.

Your goals should also account for the needs of your users. According to the first principle of the Agile Manifesto, your highest priority is “to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.” You must understand what is most important to the end-user. Then, you can discover how each iteration progressively comes closer to meeting all their needs.

Objective Feedback

Objective feedback is any data point or empirical test that lets you know whether your product meets its goals. For example, let’s say your client wants to improve the productivity of their sales team. You believe the best way to do that is to automate repetitive administrative tasks. That way, the sales team can focus its time on more high-skilled labor. Objective feedback for this project would track the percentage of administrative tasks your product or service automates.

The beauty of the Agile process is that you develop and release your product in iterations. This gives you frequent opportunities to collect and reflect on objective feedback. The Sprint Review meeting is a particularly great chance to look through this information. Invite stakeholders and end-users (when possible) to this meeting. Then, use this opportunity to measure lead time, time to pivot, cycle time, and other key indicators. Ideally, you would have consulted before the sprint with stakeholders and end-users on which indicators matter most to them.

Looking at the data, you can consult with the stakeholders and end-users in the room on next steps. Don’t be discouraged if your product is not performing as well as you hoped. Agile’s iterative approach allows you to correct shortcomings quickly.

Subjective Feedback

When most people talk about feedback, they’re usually referring to subjective feedback. This is input based on thoughts and feelings, often from the end-user. Subjective feedback helps scrum teams understand how users feel about UI/UX. It can also help pinpoint user needs and where the current product meets or falls short of those expectations.

It’s rarely possible to invite every user to Sprint Review meetings. However, you can collect feedback by surveying the end-user during or after product development. Scrum teams can also reach out to their internal customer services department to understand the range of positive and negative feedback received.

Subjective feedback can also come from stakeholders. For example, the stakeholder may notice a shortcoming in your product during the Sprint Review meeting. There may not be data backing up their opinions at this point. However, you understand that this person has important insights into the end user’s needs and wants. The goals you established early on in digital product development will decide how your team responds to this subjective feedback.

Analyzing Product Delivery with Evidence-Based Management

At some point, your team will probably want to look beyond their work on any one project. Having a macro-level view of how well your organization develops and delivers products can boost the effectiveness of each sprint. Scrum.org developed a guide to help organizations measure both current and potential productivity called Evidence-Based Management (EBM).

EBM focuses on four key values:

  • Measure the organization’s goals (unrealized value)
  • The present state of the organization relative to its goals (current value)
  • The responsiveness of the organization in delivering value (time-to-market)
  • Effectiveness of the organization in delivering value (ability-to-innovate).

Scrum.org recommends you first establish the current state of your organization. Then, you can measure how to improve these deliveries. This will provide some key-value measures for you to choose what best fits your team.

How Programmers Can Help

Collecting both objective and subjective feedback is an important part of digital product development. However, it is not always easy to put systems in place to collect and organize this data. Depending on manual processes also leaves room for human error and takes team members away from other tasks. Programmers can help you build data solutions that put your company in the best position possible to uncover key insights.

Additionally, as your team establishes goals for each sprint and collects feedback, you may feel that you do not have the necessary experience (or team size) to accomplish the next milestone. Programmers can augment your staff with scrum teams highly qualified in the technologies you need most. For data analytics, staff augmentation, or anything in between, contact us today!