Centralising your program creates a single source of truth
Hunting and searching for data is not a fun activity and certainly not the best use of an experimentation specialist’s time.
Working in multiple systems creates chaos because changes in one system or database doesn’t automatically carry over to the other and you end up with multiple or incomplete ideas and experiments missing key bits of information. Most of this can be attributed to human error when teams try to collaboratr across fragmented systems. As the amount of data that’s collected increases over time, the problems created by data silos compound.
When your data is scattered – ideas in a spreadsheet, experiments in a workflow tool, reports in some random dropbox or google slides finding insights becomes a chore and time consuming as you need to switch between systems and switch back to find all the corresponding information.
“When you adopt a platform that acts as a single source of truth, the time consuming work stops as the answers are readily available for you.”
A single source of truth platform ensures that you only see the correct and most up to date information.
Increase in productivity
Focussed work helps us complete tasks efficiently and on time. However, when you try to multitask, your brain get exhausted because of the amount of energy required to process all the different tasks. When you work with multiple tools to run your experimentation program, the constant jumping between tools and context switching has the same impact. You will constantly find yourself in a situation where a simple task such as finding an experiment takes more that 15-20 minutes to find and compile all the information together.
Imagine this scenario. You’re in the middle of deep work – analysis customer journeys or brainstorming new test ideas. A stakeholder or a team member emails you to ask for information about an experiment. The information about that experiment is somewhere on a spreadsheet in your computer. The details however are on a slide deck in google slides and the information about where it is in the pipeline is in kanban somewhere.
You’re now spending time finding all the information and looking through email threads about updates that have come through.
15-20 minutes have gone by and your mind is now exhausted. You need to recharge and take a coffee break.
Now imagine, multiple tiny interruptions or having to find and compile information to send out updates. The lost productivity accumulates over time.
A centralised solution should have everything linked in one place. The ideas, the basic information about the experiment, where it is in the workflow and all the information about it. Moreover, having it centralised allows others to self-serve
Everyone follows the same structured and standardised processes
When using multiple tools, especially those that are not built around the experimentation workflow, you will undoubtedly run into the issue of quality and integrity of the data.
Through our research, we found that 83% of companies we spoke to didn’t have an established process and instead followed a loose ad-hoc approach. This had a knock on impact the moment they started to hire more people and create a more structured program. If not addressed, this leads to teams within a CRO setup taking their own approach to documenting, workflow and reporting on tests. Lack of standardisation is also what prevents teams from scaling up as the weak foundations make it harder.
This is because of the lack of what we call “Guardrails”.
“The spreadsheet, kanbans and utility project management tools don’t come with an out of the box workflow for CRO.”
This leads teams to create their own assumed versions of best practices and in the name of speed, cut corners in documenting their tests properly.
Moreover, the multiple tools used don’t talk to each other and human error sets in when you have to copy-paste information into each system to keep them all up to date.
A centralised solution for CRO workflow and program management must help you improve your standards of documentation, management and test reporting. This alone has a lasting impact on the team and the organisation effectively setting the foundations for an experiment driven organisation.
Enables visibility and communication across the organisation
Collaboration is an important determining factor when running an experimentation program. Get more people on board and you are more likely to get greater buy in and more resources over time.
Unfortunately, the inefficient tools you essentially lock you into a silo.
If data is only shared when you have to share updates, then effectively no one is engaging with the work you do. Not in an active way.
They have no way of seeing what’s going on and no clue on what’s coming up and worse still, have no way of contributing.
Some of the cloud based tools might allow you to collaborate on some level but easy access to the information is still beyond reach because its locked up in discussion threads, clunky spreadsheet interfaces and emails.
A centralised solution gives everyone a clear view on the experiments, results and roadmap of testing. This creates a culture of transparency and sharing which in essence is a building block for the culture of experimentation that so many CROs seek.
Less work = more time to think creatively
Now that we have established the tangible benefits of using a centralised built for purpose CRO program management and workflow tool, perhaps we should address the one benefit that will make a huge difference to you as an optimization specialist.
What could you do with the additional free time saved and accumulated after switching to a centralised solution?
Breathing space to think freely and creatively about new ideas and experiments for one.
You would have more time to research your customers and understand their behaviour and create better tests. You would have more time to engage your stakeholders and show them the value of your experimentation efforts and how it benefits the business. By running more tests and engaging stakeholders, you have the power to take the business to the next level.
“A centralised solution can enable that and automate all the work that would take up your time and mental reserves, leaving you with more time to focus on growing and scaling up the testing program”