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Experimentation Deep Dive: 3 Tips to Secure Leadership Buy-In for Your Experimentation Program

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May 11, 2022

Nicole Hanson

There are many moving parts in an experimentation program that all rely on one another to succeed, from processes and tools to team members and skillsets. While you may have great ideas that you’re ready to put to the test, you need to secure proper leadership buy-in first and foremost to ensure you have the right resources to successfully run an experiment. 

Let’s explore the importance of leadership buy-in and 3 tips you can use to make your case to the leadership team.

The Importance of Leadership Buy-In

Leadership buy-in gives you the executive sponsorship you need to get funding for your experimentation program, secure a seat at the table, and keep experimentation top-of-mind in decision making across the organization. For example, if a product owner wants to launch a new feature, a leader who prioritizes experimentation will push for the feature to be tested first instead of just rolling it out and hoping for the best. In turn, leadership buy-in helps you progress through the levels of experimentation maturity by building support and collaboration from the top down, providing the necessary resources to conduct research and run tests, and championing data-driven decision making throughout the entire company. 

3 Tips to Secure Leadership Buy-In

Now that you understand why leadership buy-in is so important, let’s take a look at 3 tips you can use to secure it.

1. Build a thorough experimentation strategy. Before you can successfully launch a test, you need a clear, thorough plan in place for your experimentation program. This should include your current test ideas, research-backed hypotheses, and the business objectives you’re aiming to impact with each test. When your leadership team sees you have a long-term plan to further the business, they’ll begin to see the potential of your experimentation program.

2. Clearly and consistently report on test insights. If you’ve already been running tests but need more resources to scale your program, make sure you clearly communicate test insights and results with leadership on a regular basis (monthly or quarterly). The key here is to lead with insights—paint a qualitative picture of how your website visitors responded to a test and the impact it had on the metrics they care about. Of course, you’ll want to include quantitative test results in your reports as well, but leading with a storytelling approach instead of a bunch of numbers will help you pique your leadership team’s interest.

3. Break down silos across teams. Experimentation can sometimes be seen as a “black box” to the rest of the company, meaning others do not understand experimentation or its value to the company, nor how the program is run or what specifically is being tested. That’s why it’s critical to break down silos by actively working with other teams to brainstorm test ideas, share insights, and teach them how they can use experimentation in their own departments. Fostering this cross-functional collaboration will show leadership that experimentation isn’t just for one team or purpose, and that it can drive immense business growth when everyone is on board.

For even more tips to secure leadership buy-in and build a more mature experimentation program, download our Achieving Experimentation Maturity eBook.