Hiring a Great Beta Program Manager
There’s a lot that goes into hiring for your beta program and a lot that rides on your decision. The person will be managing a process that can make or break your product, saving or costing you large sums of money. But you don’t have to approach this undertaking without guidance. Whether you call the position Beta Program Manager, Beta Test Manager, or Beta Test Engineer we’ve got advice that will help you target the right qualifications and candidates. We’ve even put together a sample beta job posting that you can use as a template.
Mike Fine Visits The Startup Slingshot
Our Director of Client Services and resident Beta Testing Guru, Mike Fine, was a recent guest on The Startup Slingshot, where he gave a video interview on beta testing recruitment, motivation, and more. If you’re not familiar with the site, The Startup Slingshot is a great online resource for entrepreneurs, with videos and articles on a wide variety of topics that help startups achieve better results. We recommend checking it out.
Scheduling Meetings With Your Beta Testers
There’s a long-standing practice in Marketing, Product Development, and Usability Testing called “following your customer home” Intuit’s famous Follow Me Homes are a great example. The practice is also gaining traction in beta testing, so we thought now would be a good time to discuss some best practices and caveats for scheduling meetings with beta testers. Done correctly, these meetings can have a great effect on participation and open doors to insights that are hard to obtain through other methods.
Free Whitepaper: Getting Ready for Beta Testing
With 2012 rapidly approaching, we’re releasing another free beta testing resource that we hope will be very helpful as companies get ready to launch new products in the upcoming year. The whitepaper, entitled Getting Ready for Beta Testing, explores tips and best practices that product developers can rely on as they grapple with the question of when to begin their beta test.
5 Big Picture Beta Test Planning Tips
With the release of our software and hardware beta test planning kits, there’s been a lot of focus on beta planning details recently. So we thought this would be a good time to step back and take a look at the big picture. After all, what good is all that time spent on planning if you can’t see the forest for the trees? These five big picture tips, taken from our free resource 100 Tips for Better Beta Tests, will help you approach beta planning with the necessary perspective.
Our Software Beta Planning Kit is Now Available
A detailed beta test plan is one of the key components of a successful beta test. When your beta test is well-organized from the start, it allows you to stay focused on your product during testing, rather than playing catch up. To help more people develop great beta test plans, we decided to create free beta test planning kits. We started with a hardware beta test planning kit, and today we’re publishing a kit for software betas that caters more to software-specific topics like digital distribution and product keys. So whether you’re running a desktop, mobile, gaming, or web beta, our beta test planning kit can help you do it better.
Announcing our Free Hardware Beta Planning Kit
Like all projects, a successful beta test begins with a well-developed plan. Our objective is to make that planning easier by offering resources built on our 10+ years of experience in beta management. One important lesson we’ve learned is that creating a hardware beta plan is decidedly different from creating a software beta test plan. There are subtle nuances in areas like budgeting and product distribution and completely new problems like acquiring beta hardware and replacing defective units. We’ll help you prepare for all of them.
Is Big Data the Future for Big Beta?
Generally, we try to keep our blog posts focused on the here and now. Our primary goal is to give people practical advice on how to manage better beta tests. Sometimes, though, it’s interesting to think about possible futures for beta testing. And recent research from HP on data mining unstructured textual data, like social media and product reviews, is great material for that kind of thinking.
Rewarding Your Beta Testers with Incentives
As you might expect, beta testing incentives are a popular topic. In fact, “incentives” is one of our most common Google search keywords. Testers want to know what they get for participating in betas, and companies want to know what’s appropriate to offer them. As it turns out, being conscientious about your approach to incentives is very smart. There are several key things that companies need to be aware of when it comes to rewarding their testers. We talked about many of these issues in our free eBook, 100 Tips for Better Beta Tests, but they’re important enough to warrant a second look in the blog.
Centercode Connect 9.4 Released
We’re happy to announce the release of Centercode Connect 9.4 this week, with customer roll-outs beginning today. In this post, we’ll talk about some of the new features and improvements from this release, including a brand new module called Assigned Test Platforms.
Learning to Love the Novice Beta Tester
We often get emails from upset applicants who weren’t selected for a beta test despite impressive credentials. And sometimes we see companies that only want to select tech-savvy beta testers. In both cases, there’s a simple misunderstanding about beta tests that we’d like to clear up. A tester team needs to reflect the product’s target market, which usually means recruiting testers with all levels of expertise — even low levels. When you rely solely on expert beta testers, your results can be incomplete if not misleading.
Why Geography Matters in Beta Recruitment
We talked last week about where to find beta testers, but there’s another important “where” when it comes to beta recruitment. Where do your testers live? Geographic location is an oft-neglected factor in beta testing, but it can be critically important. So today, we’re going to look at situations in which where your testers live matters just as much as other demographic characteristics.
Free eBook: 100 Tips for Better Beta Tests
We’re happy to announce that our long-awaited eBook, 100 Tips for Better Beta Tests, is now available. This free 32-page guide offers tips on all phases of beta testing, from planning through completion, with a mixture of our own best practices and contributions from test managers at Adobe, Avid, Autodesk, Symantec, TiVo, and UPS.
Improving Your Beta Program with Personas
Personas are a big part of product marketing, but they’re generally underutilized in beta testing. We have some clients who’ve carried personas into their beta programs, but they’re in the minority. On the other hand, they’re a very successful minority. So, in this blog post, we’re exploring ways that you can apply customer persona techniques to help improve your next beta test.
Free eBook: Reaching 90% Beta Participation
Whenever we give a demo to potential clients, we have a slide in our deck that outlines the five biggest challenges teams face in beta testing their products. What we’ve seen is that most beta programs are experiencing several if not all of these challenges, so we decided to publish a series of free guides to help! Today we’re releasing the first installment, which tackles the biggest challenge of them all — beta participation.