MVP Product Performance Analysis: Setting A Plan

I can't overstate the importance of implementing a product analysis plan. To do so involves strategy and collaboration.


Of absolute critical importance is setting a plan to analyze your product...BEFORE your release.  It's important to get buy-in and input from your sponsors who can provide valuable influence to ensure you secure the resources you need post release when teams disband (And yes, this most likely means additional investment.).  

Product analysis is not a one time exercise - Create a steady state plan which is repeatable and has consistent ownership.  A plan may typically include:  Performance metrics to capture, cadences (how often analysis is to be performed), reporting strategy and, as a bonus, I also like to begin to ideate on responses to assumptions (I mean, come on, you're gonna have some non-data driven hunches on how things are going down!).

Creating Metrics

The metrics that are chosen to be analyzed are the foundation of the plan.  Every product is different and will have different criteria for success.  When working in an organization, the success criteria of the product are closely tied to the goals of the organization and it's likely the product vision details how the product will help the organization achieve some of those goals.  Part of the product analysis plan will include the actual metrics that need to be captured in order to gain insight on product "health," or in other words: "Is the product realizing the vision?"  With this said, it's important to collaborate with leadership and product sponsors to get an understanding of the metric focus areas which are important indicators for success. 

At it's highest level, product analysis should include a mix of qualitative and quantitative data capture and be designed to answer two fundamental questions:

  1. Is the product delivering the value that it was built to achieve? 
  2. How can we maximize this value?

These questions are aimed to provide insight on:

  1. ROI in the form of IMPACT, and well, financial return
  2. Opportunities to capitalize on
  3. Weaknesses: Both the "why" and the "HOW" to improve
  4. Justifying additional investments for future releases

In addition to designing the analysis plan around metrics which are used to distill the necessary insight regarding the product, partner with your team and sponsors to determine the correct cadences to 1) Perform the analysis and 2) Report results out to key product stakeholders.  As I mentioned, analysis should be a continuous process and it will give your team an idea of how the product is adding value over time as well as how your team's responses to opportunities and weaknesses has further improved the impact the product is delivering.