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Experiment Ideation: Why it’s a Team Effort


At Brooks Bell’s 8th annual Click Summit in May, I had the pleasure of leading a conversation titled, “What’s Fueling Your Experimentation Ideation?”  Throughout the session, participants talked about the ways to use quantitative and qualitative data, past test learnings, behavioral economics principles and the challenges they face with executing tests to their full potential. (Download the top takeaways from this session, as well as all the “Clickaways” here.)   But there was one more important attribute we discussed – the importance of the team!  

Experiment ideation methods vary across organizations. Some operate as an “army of one,” whereby one person is tasked with generating successful strategies. On the other end of the spectrum, some companies make experiment idea intake forms available to everyone in the organization. This approach, however, typically leads to an automated backlog.  Either approach has its pros and cons, as well as the other various methods that are somewhere in-between.  

At Brooks Bell, we’ve tried many different experiment ideation approaches over the years, and are always carefully measuring the impact of the changes. Our proprietary process is the best for many reasons, one being that we rely on cross-functional team representatives.

We start by understanding the data as a cross-functional team. People independently write their ideas on the whiteboard. Then, we collaborate, sharing our solutions, followed by a discussion to determine priorities. We refer to this final step, affectionately as the “War Room,” and it is a Brooks Bell mainstay.

This collaborative approach includes team members involved in every stage of experimentation. For example, account management, project management, user experience (UX) analysts, developers, technical analysts, strategy experts, and quality assurance (QA) testers.  

There are many benefits to this method:

All team members are more strongly connected and, therefore, more accountable to the outcomes. By collaborating on the testing solutions, team members are more empowered, become more invested and receive more work satisfaction since they influenced the strategic direction.

The best ideas, which span broad and diverse expertise, surface.  Each person, based on their background and experiences, brings a unique lens to the process, resulting in a wider range of ideas.

The queue remains manageable.  Bringing people together is a costly investment. But the reward is huge. Within one War Room session, teams generate dozens of experiment ideas that can impact many different experiments. Each idea passes Brooks Bell’s Gold Star process, which has a proven track record of resulting in more powerful outcomes.

If your company is considering updating your experimentation ideation process, consider adding more Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to the mix. Not only will they appreciate getting involved, but they will also contribute new ideas inspired by different vantage points.

At Brooks Bell, we work with enterprise clients to help implement a standardized, proven data-driven ideation process to scale across your organization, encouraging and enabling a collaborative experimentation testing culture. Learn more about our training programs.