Beta and beyond

Finding market fit is a journey and as we embark to solve worthy problems for our segment, we are now faced with the exciting task of setting up our business and team for Beta.

At this early stage of our life, we need the flexibility to change, improve on multiple levels. As a growing company, we were still finding our feet with all of the added operational complexities beyond building a product, the beta program gave us the time to establish a solid operating structure, time to invest into our support and engineering foundation, even the policies and social contracts within our team.

This meant that we were operating within a few key beliefs. The first being indexed towards building quickly and validating with a working concept in the hands of our users.

To allow us to do this we invested in our infrastructure which reduced our development and design loop, this meant that we were releasing features quickly and we're enabling ourselves to be able to concept, build and validate with little fuss.

Whilst investing in infrastructure was good we realised that it doesn’t mean we had to build each of the component with the purpose of being reused. This lead to our second belief, which was to build the pieces fit for purpose, meaning that if it did the job and allowed us to move fast, that will take priority over building it with the overhead of reuse or scale. This method meant that during our beta period our infrastructure and method was optimised to build and release quickly based on the insights and validation we were receiving through our research efforts in beta.

We had an additional realisation during our exchange with early adopters. Our product in beta was great for testing and experiments however the key drivers for adoption came from the instructions, plays and personal engagements where we talked about the values of InOrbit. This meant that we needed to refine our engagement method and gave rise to our investment in onboarding, blogs, opinion pieces and the start of InOrbits playbook.

The “aha” moment for the team was the insights we gathered when asking questions about what it took to roll out a new tool.

It takes a few things to make it a success:

  1. InOrbit needed to be explicit about what it replaced in the day to day activities of the team
  2. It needs to showcase the value and be clear about what problems it is solving for the team
  3. The interaction between the individual, team and company needs to take into account what the tool will do for working relationships.
  4. Finally, to help adoption, an expectation needs to be set on how you engage with the tool and the ceremonies and the discipline needed to ensure its value is being realised.

We addressed it with the following:

  1. InOrbit is the glue for all your operational tools across all your teams, it connects the people with the company’s purpose and it improves the working relationships by democratising the access to relevant information. This meant that alignment meetings became less frequent and for the remaining meetings, it added a tremendous amount of value by keeping it concise and clear.
  2. InOrbit helped to align an organisation by encouraging a culture of transparency and access. Each feature is created to democratise access to information which resulted in an additional value of reducing reporting overhead.
  3. To help with the interactions and adoption, each feature of InOrbit pairs nicely with well-established ceremonies. Stand-ups, project updates and reporting meetings.
  4. We supplement and increase the value of all of the practices by creating a good structure for each department and team moreover we have invested in the creation of plays to help with each of those areas.

Beta was a worthy effort for us and we believe our focus on releasing value quickly, by optimising our development practice toward fast iteration allowed us to realise the successes and productivity we are recognising today.

Next chapter

Key concepts Coming soon

Previously on this series

Finding market fit