5 Customer Validation Skills You Need in 2020

5G, AI, self-driving cars — in no time at all, we’ll be looking back and saying, “Oh, those old things?” Today’s technology is evolving at lightspeed (though we’re still waiting on lightspeed travel), and development teams are moving just as quickly to deliver on rapidly expanding technological landscapes and increasing customer demands.

As professionals from all walks of product development lean into agile practices, they’re developing new skills to stay, well…agile. That includes Customer Validation (CV) professionals like you who collect and disseminate customer data and insights, which makes you a driving force behind tomorrow’s game-changing technology. (Go you!)

In the spirit of evolution, here are the top 5 skills that members of the CV industry need to continue growing and thriving in 2020, along with resource recommendations for every skill level.

5 Customer Validation Skills You Need in 2020

Delta Testing

Development is speeding up more every day, and it’s pushing forward the need for faster, more reliable methods of validating new features and squashing bugs. The pressure is on for industry professionals to not only deliver the benefits of CV, but to do it at the speed of ongoing product iteration.

To maintain agile speeds while keeping quality from falling through the cracks, industry leaders are reassessing their traditional beta processes. Enter delta testing, a methodology for continuous Customer Validation in an agile environment. Knowing how to integrate agile-friendly delta practices into your CV program is an irreplaceable skill in today’s fast-paced technological landscape.

Resources for Growing These Skills:

5 Customer Validation Skills You Need in 2020

Project Management

If you’re like many CV professionals, you’re managing your projects with limited time and resources. Identifying where your time sinks lie and finding methods to build over or around them is central to maximizing the impact of the resources you have available.

One of the best ways to empower yourself is by studying project management. Project management methodologies introduce flexible frameworks and execution strategies that are crucial for CV testing, program management, and general career success. Beefing up your knowledge of this practice will help you negotiate priorities across teams, learn the cornerstones of effective stakeholder communication, move tasks through the pipeline, and hone your leadership skills.

Resources for Growing These Skills:

5 Customer Validation Skills You Need in 2020

Business Analytics

Business Analytics (BA) is a subset of Business Intelligence that focuses on identifying actionable data (sound familiar?) and transforming it into business insights. BA offers a prescriptive methodology for analyzing data, recognizing patterns, and recommending actions based on ideal outcomes.

The benefits of growing your BA skills are two-fold. First, you’ll have a better understanding of your business, which will help you prioritize your results — especially where it concerns your Product Team. And second, you’ll get plenty of practice turning customer feedback and product analytics into actionable insights and data-driven recommendations.

Resources for Growing These Skills:

5 Customer Validation Skills You Need in 2020

User Research

Understanding your users and their relationship with your product is essential for providing recommendations that increase product-market fit. However, the validity of those recommendations relies heavily on your ability to secure and analyze data in a clear, unbiased way. That’s where training in User Research comes in handy.

User Research helps place your customers at the center of your development process. Like BA, it teaches you to measure and evaluate data to create helpful insights and actionable recommendations. But its focus on user experiences makes it a staple during the design process. While CV typically begins after the product’s or feature’s design has been solidified, understanding these methodologies will make you a more effective researcher and a more effective communicator with your UX stakeholders.

Resources for Growing These Skills:

5 Customer Validation Skills You Need in 2020

Quality Assurance

Bugs and beta traditionally go hand-in-hand, but with the speed of continuous delivery shifting the culture around engineering and quality teams, going the extra mile to understand their workflow and processes will help you produce more impactful insights.

Resources for Growing These Skills:

You’re on a Roll — Keep Going!

Why stop here? Watch Delta ’20 on-demand for skills-focused presentations, interviews with industry leaders, and in-depth resources from CV industry professionals like you!

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