(Two boys being measured by a wall ruler).

Working with Growth Design on outsourcing company, challenges and learnings.

I have been working for a long time in a product company, and when I started working in a outsourcing company, I missed something: How to measure the result of what was released?

Outsourcing services often does not have access to a backlog definition. So when we realized that the client can make wrong decisions, we had a job of turning certainties into hypotheses to validate before development. However, this validation work can cause problems, as the delivery of the feature has already generated an expectation within the company and was promised with a deadline.

In this article, you will read how we created a process with Growth + Scrum and how we are measuring what we published in production.

Team work

First of all, it is important to note that if you are a Product Designer, just as it is written in the Lean UX book, everything is difficult on your own. No matter how hard you try you will need the support or sponsorship of people on your team. So I advise you to talk to people like Product Managers, Scrum Masters, Designers’ Leads / Heads, Developers, Product Owners and so on.

So the process was created with the help of many hands, and we studied concepts from various methodologies. I had the opportunity to conduct this creation process by talking to some professionals and testing on my current project.

Methodologies

I will list below the main concepts of the process:

  • Growth:

The mindset of experimentation, validation and learning must be the essence of the team.

  • Lean UX

Outcome, rather than output, the Designer being a facilitator to reach learning. Always thinking: “What do we need to learn first?”.

Other important concepts highlighted in the Lean UX book, such as not being a hero designer, but contribute to the activities for the whole team.

  • Data Driven Design

Everything must be based on data. The extremes of KPIs must be considered for the business decision making.

  • Atomic Research

We studied the framework and created some adaptations, such as: Trigger, Experiment, Fact, Insight and Conclusion. Atomic helps to organize thoughts, but after the first experiments, only mindset is enough.

(Five blocks with a sequence: KPI: Call Center Complaints, Trigger: Many calls about a “subject”, Experiment: Create an app button, Fact: Many clicks / Fewer call center registers, Conclusion: Let’s improve more the flow).
  • OKRs

OKRs are the starting point. Where we can target everyone and put Stakeholders and the Team on the same page.

  • Scrum

The Scrum ceremonies helped us a lot. For we understand that to change or create a culture there must be customs, and the ceremonies help in this understanding.

  • Design Sprint

We use Design Sprint to create the workshops for the process.

The process

It all starts with OKR, definition with stakeholders is extremely important, after all you need to know where the product is going and then run experiments to improve it. So in the first meeting, based on Design Sprint, we created a workshop definition of OKR, KR and KPI.

We called the first meeting Growth Planning or Experiments Generation. The concept is simple. The most worrying KPIs are presented by the Product Manager to the team. So together we answer the question: How can we reach this indicator with as little effort as possible?

At this point, Product Designer’s performance is important because many ideas can require real-time wireframes.

At this point, Product Designer’s performance is important because many ideas can require real-time wireframes.

So developers can start preparing code while designers are finalizing the layout.

It is interesting that all Squad members are involved in this meeting, including people from other areas, such as Marketing and Customer Success. Because experiments can be linked to other areas and sometimes software development is not required to achieve some KPI.

After the first sprint, the results of the experiments should be presented in the Review, this part can be done by the Product Manager or the Product Designer, because everyone should understand where we are going. When the experiment is a software development, it may take days to get some results or even comparisons. But even if the data is not complete, present the result you have. Show the experiment relating to the KPI, KR and OKR and the lessons that were generated.

(One timeline with two parallel blocks: Experiments Generation, during 15 days one Follow Up of KPIs. After 15 days one Reviews of results, during more 15 days Follow up of KPIs again, after this cycle it end up 3 months OKRs review).

Alignment with everyone

Knowing where the business is going and what ideas are in the minds of the layers above is vital to the Growth Process working. In this case, Product Managers should align with their directors and review whether we should continue to follow these KPIs, because depending on the business field, everything can change very fast. So we created a ceremony called Follow Up KPIs, where the Product Managers, the Stakeholders, the Managers and the Product Designers meet to evaluate extremes and decide which to focus on. This meeting will take place every 15 days.

After 3 months, as recommended by the OKR methodology, it is checked if the KRs have been reached and new ones can become a priority.

Prepare your team

When we talk about Growth Marketing, we mean doing adwords campaigns, viral campaigns, emailing recommendations, landing page creations and so on. However, when we talk about application development, the metrics don’t necessarily fit into AARRR framework, but vary by OKR. We often come across developers who are used to developing large features or modules. But with the mindset of experimentation and learning, it is necessary to work this mindset together with the team so that there is no feeling with “I am not coding the perfect code”.

Prepare the project

Without data, it is impossible to continue. Therefore, it is necessary to have the user’s journey tagged, after all the user can start in a Call Center and end in the app. We will need a vision of this journey to understand its behavior and generate experiments. So, it’s time to tag everything you can.

Measuring

Initially, we plan to get results faster. But the experiments lasted about 15 to 30 days to achieve satisfactory results.

Besides of Review meeting, we’re looking for ways to keep the team up-to-date and learning, we’re studying tools like Google Data Studio.

Also, whenever we write any kind of experiment, we put in which metrics or data we will track; so we use a column in Trello to do that.

(One Kanban with 4 columns: OKR, Progress, Done and Following. Some cards of experiments examples there are like an example with a tag “Growth”). I know, it's look like simple, but we tracking the experiment is important.

Design Team

The Product Designer, along with the Development team, can solve some experiments quickly, others still need to follow the structure of a first design. But with the structure of small experiments, everything gets faster and we can deliver more activities with more value in less time. All thanks to the mindset of the experiment.

But with the structure of small experiments, everything gets faster and we can deliver more activities with more value in less time. All thanks to the mindset of the experiment.

Along the way, you will identify issues that will need the help of a UX Researcher. While the Product Designer will be within the Growth process, you will realize the need to perform Service Design activities to adjust some of the company’s services or to conduct deep qualitative research.

It is also important to have a Design System or components defined for better prototyping. This can be a job for UI Designers.

The Design Team can share a Kanban, but serving the Squads, it is important that one knows what the other is doing.

(Infographic showing two teams squads. Each with their Product Designer, Product Manager and Sprint Backlog divided by OKRs. Outside of the squads there are UX Lead, Researcher and UI Designer. They are using the same backlog but divided by OKR tags).

Learning and exploring

Everything that has been written in this article so far is still being tested as we are facing these difficulties, experiencing and adapting every day. But there are still broader discussions, such as which business model to adopt, which is in the best interests of both outsourced parties and the company. For example, the outsourcing only makes a profit when it hits a goal.

Everything was extremely challenging and we are daily proving the value of experimentation for everyone. But, we are able to connect even more outsourcing and client generating more value for the business.

Special credits for those who have been with me on this journey: Ana Cristine Veneziane and also the Dextra Team for the opportunity.

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