Building a Culture of Product Experimentation by Optimizely PM

Product experimentation can help your team and company build the best version of your product possible. Not only is it crucial for decision-making but it also helps your team and the stakeholders decide whether you should change directions. Building a culture of product experimentation is not easy and it might take years to accomplish – but it’s worth it! At the Product Conference in San Francisco, Product Manager at Optimizely shared the seven habits of experimentation culture.

Product Manager at Optimizely

Byron Jones is a Product Manager at Optimizely. After graduating from the University of Colorado with an Aerospace Degree, Byron has spent 10 years working as a systems engineer at NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (!) He’s had both technical and oversight roles on flight projects in all stages of development, test and operations of unmanned spacecraft.

How to Build a Culture of Product Experimentation

Byron talked about different experimentation cultures and the seven habits involved. He also shared a hack to get your idea funded: frame it as an experiment. He dove into the importance of having an experimentation culture in your company and how to build it, with real life examples to show it all.

Building a Culture of Product Experimentation by Optimizely PM


In a nutshell:

  • What do Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Netflix have in common?
    • They’ve all figured out how to weave experimenting into their DNA.
    • They use experimenting at every level of their decision-making.
    • They figured out that there is a connection between experimentation and growth.
    • Building a culture of product experimentation takes years!
  • 7 Habits of product experimentation culture:
  1. Leaders ask about experiment result.
  2. Teams use experiments to protect their big ideas.
    1. The intersection between a good idea and what seems like a bad idea.
    2. A hack to getting your idea funded is to frame it as an experiment.
  3. Leaders celebrate wins AND losses.
  4. Teams hire for an experimentation mindset.
  5. Leaders focus on choosing the right metrics.
    1. You get to use objective data to drive your decision-making.
  6. Teams focus on experiment velocity.
    1. How can teams increase experiment velocity?
      1. Investing in education and training.
      2. Holding open experiment reviews.
      3. Integrating the experiment and experience layers.
      4. Automating metric tracking.
  7. Leaders focus on experiment velocity.
    1. If you increase the number of experiments, you run the more likely it is that you’re going to find those ideas that initially looked like bad ones.

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