Results in a World of Continuous Agile Delivery

September 11, 2018 By: Guest Author

Businesses are under constant pressure to innovate in order to compete in a world where agile continuous delivery is a necessity.  New interfaces, new designs, new products, new channels are popping up all the time that challenge the status quo and threaten to steal your customer base.

The top enterprises in this new, high-velocity world, are the ones that can most quickly iterate on and release products and experiences that capture the ever-changing needs of customers.  In fact, the digital marketplace makes it as easy as a single click for a user to spend their focus, time, and money on a competitor’s site.  So how do you keep them engaged?  And how do you keep upping the ante?

High performing technology organizations have adopted methodologies like Agile Development, Lean Management, and Continuous Delivery to meet these ever-changing customer demands and allow for faster releases and constant improvement.  Much has been done internally to restructure development organizations to optimize these approaches, including team structure, development workflows, tools, and processes.  Yet often these structural efficiencies are not mirrored in the realm of customer experience.

Point Solutions Yield Limited Views

Too often, businesses rely upon a disparate set of tools to measure the success of their efforts, and as a result, only see part of the picture.  Analytics measure engagement and conversion, Voice of Customer measures customer feedback and satisfaction, A/B testing measures the success of one experience over another, and Application monitoring measures performance and load.  All of these tell part of the story, but like a CSI detective, we are left piecing together the clues in order to get the entire picture—something that takes a lot of time, which is a luxury we do not often have.

More Releases, More Errors

On top of the time spent on gaining a broader view, these high-velocity release cycles create more opportunities for errors to be introduced into production.  Though agile continuous delivery. has testing built in as part of its framework, the ever-increasing number of clients, devices, browsers, and versions makes it virtually impossible to test every combination and scenario with every release.  There are assumed to be a number of errors and issues that fall under the radar, as they are perceived to be edge cases and are accepted as an unfortunate, yet unavoidable side effect of rapid release cycles. But should we just accept these as par for the course?

The Full Package

A fully-mature agile continuous delivery organization will be sure to include all the necessary tools to adequately assess the customer experience being delivered.  Instead of having to piece together clues in the lab, they will be able to:

  • Press “play” and view the complete picture on demand.
  • Fast forward to any point of significance and be alerted as to areas of concern.
  • Release with confidence knowing that errors in the wild will be caught faster, be more easily traceable, and will have less impact on conversions, experiment results, and customer satisfaction.

The most innovative companies in the digital space have devoted tens of millions of dollars in software and personnel to measure, optimize, and iterate on customer experience.  Google, Amazon, Netflix, and Uber all have hundreds of dedicated resources to actively manage all aspects of this process.  Even with this level of scrutiny, errors can enter the testing and delivery process that can produce inaccurate results.  AirBnB almost scrapped their entire product search redesign because of errors that were only occurring in certain versions of Internet Explorer and were tanking results.  It was only through careful analysis that they were able to identify the offending code and realized that the new design was actually a huge winner.

Most companies can’t afford the personnel or time it takes to manually build and manage all aspects of the experience platform.  Fortunately, there are many tools available to make this easier.  A good customer experience platform that allows you to evaluate and analyze user experiences as quickly as you can deploy them, includes Analytics, A/B testing/experimentation, Voice of Customer, Application Monitoring, and the glue that ties them together: a robust Digital Intelligence Analytics solution that integrates with all the other solutions and provides insight into every customer experience so that your team can continue to deliver on optimization.


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