Managed Beta Process

Each of our projects is designed to meet your specific goals while consuming as little of your time as possible. Here's how it works.

1. Plan Your Beta Test

Beta Discovery Meeting

We'll begin with a discovery meeting. This will be held by an experienced Centercode beta manager at no cost with no commitments on your part, generally after we've completed an NDA. The focus of this meeting is to build an understanding of your product, schedule, target market, and the goals of your beta test. We'll dive into details such as the demographic and technological requirements for your target market, and the current state of your beta product. We'll also answer any questions you have on our processes and experience.

Building Your Beta Project Plan

With an understanding of your product, your market, and your goals — we'll build a comprehensive beta plan that covers every detail of your project. This includes target market, objectives, tester activities, stakeholders, schedule, phases, and a great deal more. This plan is provided at no cost, and includes a fixed price for Centercode to run the beta test for you. At this point you can choose to hire us to run the project, subscribe to our software and run it yourself, or alternatively - choose another path entirely. Sound interesting? Request a free beta plan now.

Customizing Your Centercode Project

Once you've approved your plan, we'll build out your project in the Centercode beta management platform. This will include teams to segment users by target market/persona, as well as the feedback types (bug reports, feature requests, etc.) and other resources (NDAs, surveys, tasks, user forums, etc.) that meet the goals outlined in the project plan. You'll have access to this project throughout the beta to review details, approve surveys and resources, browse feedback and forums, and (if you'd like) build your own reports.

Recruiting Candidates and Selecting (Great) Testers

Next we'll begin the recruiting process. Depending on your target market we'll either begin with our own community (Betabound) of 150,000+ pre-profiled candidates, or extend our search to other venues. Our initial goal will be to recruit roughly 5 to 10 times more candidates than we need testers, from which we'll select the most qualified individuals that both meet your exact target market criteria and demonstrate the qualities of a great beta tester. You'll then have the option to review your tester pool.

2. Launch Your Beta Test

Kicking Off Your Project

Before a single tester gets the product, we'll first test it in our own lab to ensure it's ready for beta. If there are any red flags, we'll review these with you, ensuring that the product is in a proper state for beta (we don't charge for delays, if necessary). Next, we'll invite the tester team, ensuring that they complete both your NDA and our Participation Agreement prior to joining the project. As part of this invitation we'll also reconfirm that the testers understand the confidentiality requirements of the project, and share any important information and instructions, while confirming that they're still ready, willing, and able to participate effectively.

Distributing Beta Units, Builds, and Materials

Next, we'll distribute the beta product and any essential materials to the testers. Hardware will be shipped (with our team handling the logistics), while software will be provided digitally and securely via our system. Mobile apps will be distributed appropriately based on their platform, with our team providing testers the support necessary to ensure everything is installed and ready to go.

3. Manage Your Beta Test

Beginning the Test Phase

The test phase begins when testers receive their product. During this phase we'll conduct and moderate activities based on the goals outlined in your project plan. These may include:

  • Collecting bug reports
  • Collecting feature requests
  • Conducting surveys (out of the box, feature acceptance, etc.)
  • Assigning tasks
  • Collecting daily experience journals
  • Hosting group tester calls
  • Conducting mock online reviews
  • Hosting forum discussions
  • New build distribution
  • Bug regression

Managing Participation and Supporting Testers

Throughout your test phase we'll be actively monitoring and managing tester engagement to ensure that your testers are participating to the fullest. This includes actively messaging ongoing requirements and activities, and following up with any testers who are not meeting the expectations set for the project. We'll also be supporting testers with any needs they have, answering questions and ensuring they're continually able to test.

Filtering Feedback

Once the feedback starts pouring in, we'll begin filtering it in real-time, ensuring that the feedback that reaches you is complete and valuable. This includes marking duplicate data, asking for clarification when necessary, and sorting feedback by a set of severities defined by you during our kickoff meeting. In addition we'll respond to all feedback, ensuring testers know they are being heard.

On-Demand Reporting, Weekly Updates, and Calls

We make every attempt to ensure you have easy access to any project data you need. You're free to review and respond to feedback. If you don't have the time, you can just request whatever data you'd like, and we'll gather it for you. In addition, every Monday we'll send you a report outlining the status of the beta, including key and useful information. At your option we'll also participate in a weekly call, providing any necessary information about your beta directly to your team.

Centercode Beta Management Platform - Beta Bug Summary

Pivoting on New Discoveries and Objectives

During your test phase it's likely that new information (bugs, customer misunderstandings, etc.) will lead to different objectives and priorities. Our projects are run in an agile fashion, so we can change course to include new activities that accomplish these objectives. If necessary you can extend your project at a fixed rate per week.

4. Close Your Beta Test

Closing Your Beta Test

At the end of your test phase we'll close up the project by collecting any additional information you need, collecting beta units (if necessary) from the field, and conducting a standardized closure survey that provides a consistent measurement for your product as it leaves beta.

Tester Incentives

Next we'll distribute incentive rewards to the tester team. Incentives can range from the final version of the product to gift cards, and always include a special thank you message from our beta manager (and you, if you would like). In addition we'll recognize those that clearly went above and beyond in their contributions with special rewards provided by Centercode.

Wrap-Up and Final Report

Your project will end with a wrap-up meeting where we'll present your final report. This is a detailed slide deck which outlines key data from your beta test based on the goals you set and any pivots that were made. Included in this report will be an ROI estimate calculated from the values you've associated with the severity levels of the bugs found during the project. We also encourage feedback to improve our managed beta offering.

Ongoing Data Access

Your data is yours to keep (you own everything). We'll keep your project online for an additional 90 days. During this time you can access, report on, and export your project data at any time. If you'd like your data made available longer, simply request it - and we'll be happy to oblige.

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