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Test Planning

Crafting a Strong Beta Test Proposal

May 19, 2015

Beta testing is an exciting phase for any product, but convincing your management team to run a beta test can be tricky — especially if you feel like you’re the only one advocating for beta testing. The key is to build a well-researched, objective, and comprehensive plan to present to your key decision makers. Below are some tips for crafting a persuasive proposal to run a beta test for your product. This advice will help you create a convincing case for beta that you can present to your company’s executives or other stakeholders to get everyone on board with beta testing your current and future products.

Create a tangible proposal

Whenever you’re making a formal business proposition, always provide something people can walk away with. Don’t just casually talk out your beta testing ideas with your management team — create a presentation instead. Your presentation can take the form of a Word document, PowerPoint, video recording, or charts. Whatever route you choose, make sure there is something your management team can reference for questions and statistics. This is for their own research, as well as if they’d like to discuss your beta testing proposal further with other higher-ups.

Clarify what beta testing is

Don’t just assume your management team has the same understanding of beta testing as you do. Include an opening slide or paragraph to explain what beta testing is. It’s important for your audience to be on the same page as you explain your beta testing plan.

Use a clear, concise, and level-headed tone

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of a potential beta test (especially if it’s long overdue for your company). However, don’t let your sense of eagerness cloud the delivery of your presentation. Keep your proposal points short and sweet so they’re easy to remember. Also, maintain a confident, unbiased tone to help drive home your points and position yourself as your company’s go-to beta guru.

Include numbers

Don’t just present a general idea of what your beta test would look like. Instead, present a plan with real numbers. How many beta testers will you have? How long will your beta test last? What tools will you use? What sort of budget do you need? Finally, what do you expect the return on investment (ROI) of your test to be? We have resources to help you determine all of these numbers so you can have a comprehensive plan for your executive team.

Create a personalized pro and con list

In your proposal, include a personalized pro and con list that accurately assesses your company’s beta testing needs. Why would the beta test accomplish? What are the risks? Can your company afford to beta test right now (in terms of time, personnel, and money)? What are the risks of not running a beta test? Don’t be afraid to be frank — this is where you can really build a case for why beta testing is a must-have.

Highlight the benefit of taking the next step

With the pros and cons laid out, the next portion of your proposal should highlight the benefits of taking the next step. Taking the next step can mean anything from presenting to (even) higher management or building a more detailed beta plan. Whatever the step may be, remind your audience it is necessary for the development of your product by referencing the positives from your pro and con list.

Schedule time for the next discussion

Now that you’ve presented, emailed, or smoke signaled your proposal, it’s time to schedule a follow-up meeting with management. The purpose of this meeting is to reflect on your beta test proposal, answer any of your management team’s outstanding questions/concerns, and determine your team’s next steps. Scheduling time for a follow-up discussion is crucial for ensuring your proposal doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. Even if your management team decides not to beta test your current product, at least you’ve planted the seed for future products in development.

For more advice on preparing your team for a beta test, download our beta test planning kits for hardware or software products.

For more beta resources, visit our library!

Download the Software Beta Planning Kit
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