How good are your feedback loops?

Score your team on the following, on a scale of one to five. Very poor = 1, poor = 2, average = 3, good = 4, very good = 5.

This is a work in progress!

Build the right thing

  • “Eating your own dog food” (using your own product daily). This only really works if you are part of your target audience. For example, the people developing the iPhone were also potential customers for the iPhone.
  • Demos. A good demo gives meaningful feedback.
  • Generating hypotheses. A good hypothesis can be proven wrong, otherwise it won’t give you meaningful feedback.
  • Doing product experiments to give feedback about a particular feature. A good experiment validates the impact on the product’s success, as opposed to just validating if the feature will be usable.
  • Talking with customers. Do your sales people get meaningful feedback from customers? If so, is it passed on to the people who can act on it? Is relevant sales data visible? For example, monthly sales (YoY).
  • Talking with users. Do you get meaningful feedback from users? Examples include surveys and product data (from Google Analytics, for example). Are your product decisions informed by this?

Build the thing right

  • Automated tests. Examples include unit tests, browser tests (e.g. Cypress), and visual tests (e.g.
  • Deep collaboration between developers. One example of this is pair programming.
  • Continuous integration. So that you get feedback if someone checks in code that breaks the build.
  • Other testing. Examples include exploratory testing, load testing, adequate monitoring of production systems.

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