Beta testing has many moving pieces. You need to recruit target market testers with the right demographic and technographic segmentations. You need to communicate consistently and follow up to collect ample product feedback about high-priority features. You need to turn that feedback into meaningful, actionable insights, then get it over to your stakeholders. And, if you're like most beta test managers, you need to do it all while juggling the responsibilities of your primary job.
You can't do without beta testing because it's absolutely critical to staying competitive in today's ruthless tech landscape. But even with mature processes and years of experience under your belt, it's a lot of work to run a beta test without the right tools.
If you're slogging with the burden of beta and not seeing repeatable results, it's time for the next level up. We're talking about delta testing, user testing automation that returns all the results of beta testing while taking repetitive processes off your plate.
We recently outlined four signs it's time to upgrade your beta testing processes. Now, here are four more indicators that show you're ready to make the switch to delta testing.
Sign #1: You Have to Reinvent Your Beta Processes All the Time
It's most common to see beta testing happen ahead of a product release. But before Agile Development normalized continuous testing and iteration, product updates were only happening once or twice a year. It was still dicey to run a beta test without a standardized process for it, but those concerns were easy to put on the backburner because beta happened so infrequently.
Nowadays though, constant iteration and much shorter release cycles mean you're running beta tests much more often. The lack of standardization and best practices around processes means reinventing the wheel with every project. That makes it really hard to deliver consistent results from beta and impossible to benchmark your progress with accuracy.
Sign #2: You Have a Hard Time Demonstrating the ROI of Beta Testing
If you identify with the challenge above, you're also likely struggling to demonstrate the ROI of your program (70% of beta testing programs do). Not surprising if reactive processes inhibit you from collecting data the same way each time (i.e., setting benchmarks) and/or you're pulling data in and out of email and spreadsheets. The one-two punch of decentralized data and a lack of standardized processes makes proving the value of your efforts that much trickier.
Sign #3: Privacy and Confidentiality Are Keeping You Up at Night
Along with all the other aspects of managing a beta test, protecting the privacy of your organization and your testers demands signed NDAs and beta agreements, confidentiality reminders, and a secure outlet for your testers so their thoughts about your unreleased product don't end up on Twitter. We won't even get started on the specifics of GDPR and CCPA compliance.
It's understandable that thinking about how to protect the privacy of your testers and your data would result in some sleepless nights. Suffice to say, if handling the logistics of confidentiality and privacy is a nightmare, that's a sign to seek a more efficient solution.
Sign #4: Your Product Has Low Ratings or Poor Reviews
The truth is that there will always be small issues that crop up in your product or that aren't worth delaying the release over. But if your customers are discovering surprise bugs that lower star ratings or flood review sites with complaints, it's a clear sign that your beta tests aren't doing their job.
How Delta Does What Beta Can't
Given the challenges we've just described, there are many reasons why beta testing could be failing the needs of your products, customers, or organization. These all-too-common shortcomings are why delta testing exists in the first place: to efficiently deliver those critical prioritized recommendations for product fixes and improvements that drive satisfaction.
Delta testing increases consistency throughout your program by automating most of your projects and providing structured, repeatable steps to take care of the rest. Its technologies minimize the risk of leaks with features like automated confidentiality reminders, while centralization makes privacy compliance much, much easier.
The tactics and tools used during delta testing underscore the value your program brings to your product. It highlights the features and experiences that mean the most to your customers, then makes it easy to spread and track fixes and improvements as they travel throughout your organization. Finally, the metrics provided by delta processes and technologies let you pursue consistent program improvement and readily share specifics about growth to demonstrate ROI and increase buy-in.
It's time to stop struggling to increase the value of beta and let delta testing increase the value of your product. Learn the basics and the benefits in our ebook, The Quickstart Guide to Delta Testing.