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Test Management

How Feedback Scoring Takes Your Beta Program to the Next Level

July 12, 2016

If you’re running a beta test with enthusiastic testers and a solid beta plan in place, things can scale very quickly once feedback starts coming in. You’re likely to see thousands of pieces of feedback from your testers, and one of the most difficult jobs for the beta manager will be to prioritize and leverage this enormous pile of data.

It’s not enough to just cobble together the data into a report and then have your team work down the extremely long list of issues. You need to determine which issues are critical and what changes could have the most impact on your product. This is where Centercode’s Feedback Scoring functionality comes in.

In a nutshell, our Feedback Scoring feature looks at a variety of aspects of feedback (like severity, category, and frequency), and using an algorithm, it automatically calculates the impact resolving or implementing the feedback would have on your product as a whole. This allows you to not only focus your dev team, but also help garner unique insights into your target market. Here are three big ways Feedback Scoring can take your beta test to the next level:

1. Automate Your Prioritization

The biggest benefit of Feedback Scoring is that prioritization is essentially automated. This means that you or your team won’t need to spend hours to literally go through every single piece of feedback in order to determine which issues need to be addressed first — it does the heavy lifting for you.

Feedback Scoring gives your team actionable data. It’s now a prioritized list that you can take chunks out of as you go, showing you what testers are interacting with and what issues they find to be the most important. It says, “these are the things we need to pay attention to; out of the 2,000, these are the top 100 or top 50.” This allows your team to focus on fixing or implementing the most impactful issues and features, rather than spending their limited time in meetings trying to determine which bugs or features they should (or shouldn’t) prioritize.

2. Go Beyond Severity

In trying to manage large amounts of feedback during a beta test, it’s easy to fall into the trap of only prioritizing critical bugs or only looking at the severity or face value of an issue. But using Feedback Scoring during your beta test can also unearth major issues that go beyond just high-profile bugs and stability issues.

Feedback Scoring looks at the prevalence or frequency of an issue along with its severity (and other important factors) to determine its overall impact. It might be something that wouldn’t normally be considered high priority because it may be a cosmetic or documentation issue rather than a critical issue. It may be that your user interface or some sort of documentation unintentionally makes your company look bad, or it teaches users to do something the wrong way. And even though your testers say that they figured it out eventually, it’s a barrier to usage.

This may seem like a low priority issue at first glance, but if it’s a big enough issue to create a feedback trend from the majority of your beta testers, it’s going to become a point of friction once your product is launched. In fact, it could be a tier one, make-or-break user experience issue that could prevent your target market from even adopting your product, making it a higher priority than a lot of other bugs.

3. Elevate Your Data Insight

Collecting and prioritizing feedback are what beta managers are generally tasked with, but after the beta test, making all that data useful is another barrier. You don’t want to hand over a report showing just raw data, because, in most circumstances, it isn’t going to mean much to your stakeholders. With Feedback Scoring, you can instead build insightful recommendations from the data you’ve collected.

The whole point of beta testing is getting the real customer experience. With Feedback Scoring (and successfully recruiting those who represent your target audience as testers), you know what the user experience will be like. You know the kinds of issues they’ll run into, the frequency they’ll run into them, and the kinds of complaints and problems they’ve had. Feedback Scoring automatically brings those issues to your attention.

It gives you the authority to tell your stakeholders the kinds of real stability or user experience issues that are going to bubble up once the product is out in the wild and in the public eye. So you can say, “Look, we know how this is going to perform in the wild; we know what kind of issues people are going to run into; we know how people feel about the product.” No one else in your organization has that kind of insight.

Feedback Scoring makes it easier to pull this information together. It allows you to highlight the things that are most impactful, and in this way, you become the advocate voice for the product and the customer. That’s one of the things that people don’t necessarily think of — it elevates the value of the beta program and of the beta manager.

Download our complete whitepaper on Implementing Feedback Scoring in Your Beta Program to see how assessing the impact of your feedback could elevate your next beta test.

Download the full whitepaper on Feedback Scoring!

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