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Early Testing: Problems and Solutions

Early testing removes the problems of accumulating risks and the consequent waste of time and money on fixing errors. If it comes to developing an online store (or any other IT product), then from the very beginning, the team should treat its creation as testing a hypothesis. The hypothesis in this case is the assumption “our terms of reference correspond to the global objectives of the project.” It is necessary to understand whether the planned functionality of the online store can ensure its planned profitability.

If the hypothesis is not confirmed, then the direction was chosen incorrectly and you need to change it. Early testing will give you enough information to detect hidden flaws and unrealized benefits that will help significantly increase the effectiveness of the finished product. Carrying out such tests, it is important to look into the future, not focusing on the error, and not spend energy searching for the “guilty”, useful for the development of the product.

Read related material: Project management through workflow. How I set up production in two steps
Three problems of early testing
The issue of testing hypotheses lies in three areas:

Develop a phased and measurable plan for promoting my project
Early Testing: Problems and Solutions

Bias for the correctness of one’s own ideas
More often than not, the subjective experience of the representative of the customer or agency falls into the terms of reference, which can negatively affect the effectiveness of the terms of reference (TOR).

The problem is that the systematic approach to analytics has been violated: the target audience has not been studied, and a value proposition for it has not been formed. For verification, it is better to take a step back and collect data on segments of the target audience:

What needs and problems are not covered?

What value proposition can a company give clients in this case?

To form TK, and even more so, to start developing a site will be much more reasonable precisely after such simple analytics. More difficult. You need to find the intersection of the values ​​of the audience with your proposal and remove the barriers to buying.

During the implementation of the product (in our case, the site), initial assumptions may not give the planned result, in this case it is important to rely not on intuition, but on accurate test data. For an objective assessment of the results, it is necessary to have a business plan for the medium and long-term development of the project and KPI to assess its effectiveness.

The solution to the problem is the technology available on the market for studying the target audience and the basic principles of forming business models and value propositions.

For more accurate hypotheses falling into the interests of Central Asia, I recommend using the Osterwalder scheme, the main idea of ​​which is to find the main motives for making a purchase and form a positioning that would be clear and interesting to the audience.
Early Testing: Problems and Solutions

Psychological aspects
When testing shows the failure of the initial hypotheses, it is difficult to accept the result and abandon part of the functional or move on to its significant alteration.

This problem is purely psychological in nature. The contractor is convinced of the correctness of his own assumptions, a negative result destroys his picture of the world and his image of himself as a specialist (especially if he has little experience). The customer (or investor), for its part, has already formed certain expectations, and the rollback of changes is perceived as a failure.

Arrangements for early testing help to remove such problems before starting work. The customer receives reasonable risks, and the contractor lays the right to make a mistake. An unambiguous assessment of the results allows the Measurement Plan, which contains the main KPIs and business goals.

Read material on the topic: How to plan advertising campaigns competently. Measurement Plan Template
Early Testing: Problems and Solutions

Testing Procedure
What and when to test? How much do you need to split the functionality for this test? Should minor changes be included in it or not?

To solve this problem, I recommend making a plate with functionality and ranking each item by criticality, and enter the cost of the change in another column. Then divide these two indicators and distribute the final one in descending order. Thus, you will get a list of edits / hypotheses in the most rational order.
New ideas and reflection
During testing, you will be able to see new opportunities to increase the effectiveness of the site, which will allow you to run features that were not visible or not obvious at the start of the project.

Previous experience is a very valuable source of information. Audit of marketing activity in conjunction with the business performance of the site helps to understand the nature of successful decisions and key mistakes. The opportunity to draw conclusions from experience allows you to look at the project through the eyes of new opportunities, rather than a set of problems.

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