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What’s the Best Way to Grow Your Testing Program?


Two Brooks Bell employees talk at a computer

In order for a testing program to advance, it must do more than garner wins—it must grow in a way that’s steady, smart, and efficient. While increasing test velocity and generating new test ideas are signs that a program is growing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the program will enjoy greater success. From maintaining the integrity of your center of excellence to getting buy-in from team members, we’re sharing our best insights for growing a testing program.

claire-2016“Making sure the strategy is sound is an essential step for a testing program to grow.”

-Claire Schmitt, Director of Optimization Consulting at Brooks Bell

For Claire Schmitt, director of optimization consulting, it all comes down to strategy. But it’s easier said than done when a program is growing.

“As testing programs become more mature, we see the model for their organization grow and change,” she says.

In the beginning, the team is more cross-functional: They have a center of excellence with creative, an analyst, and a developer. As they grow, those resources migrate outside of that center—and the center becomes key in managing the individual product teams.

“They handle collisions, make sure the strategy is sound, and provide resources,” she says. Having a healthy central hub is a critical component of smart growth.

brian-2016“The importance of internal culture and buy-in can’t be overestimated.”
-Brian Shampnois, Director of Analytics at Brooks Bell

To advance a testing program, you have to start with the people involved, says Brian Shampnois, director of analytics.

“If you can’t get your organization excited about testing—if they don’t see the value in it or just don’t want to do it—then it’s very difficult to get traction,” he says.  Organizational buy-in gives you access to resources and ensures that testing will be prioritized, both of which are necessary to advance a program.

It helps sustain a growing program, too. “You need a lot of people coming up with a lot of ideas, and they should really want to do it…. You could be setting up dynamite tests, but if no one cares, you’re not going to get off the ground.”

suzi 2016“If you want your testing program to grow, focus on two things that don’t necessarily go together: being methodical and being exciting.”

-Suzi Tripp, Director of Client Management at Brooks Bell

One team member warns against building excitement too soon.

It’s important to build a great culture, share test results, and get everyone involved, says Suzi Tripp, director of client management. But you can’t do that without having any infrastructure in place.

“People will start coming to you with ideas, which is ultimately what you want, but if you’re not ready for it, it can just be a bad experience. And maybe you don’t get that interest back.”

Culture and process, in fact, go hand in hand.

“It’s a dual focus: You have to get people to buy in and love it, but at the same time you have to be doing your homework, building out your templates, structure, and documentation,” she says. “You have to be planning out how your team is going to grow and what your vision for that will be.” And for a testing program to grow in a healthy way, this needs to be done simultaneously.

What do you think is most important to focus on as your testing program grows?

Brooks Bell helps top brands profit from A/B testing, through end-to-end testing, personalization, and optimization services. We work with clients to effectively leverage data, creating a better understanding of customer segments and leading to more relevant digital customer experiences while maximizing ROI for optimization programs. Find out more about our services.