The 4-Steps Framework for an Effective Growth Meeting
Regardless of the size of your growth team or the goals that they have, the two aspects in common of any growth meeting are (1) Analyze what you have learned over your previous sprints and (2) Reiterate your findings while planning your next steps.
The frequency in which you run your growth meetings may vary based on a few aspects, such as the size of your team, the number of experiments being executed and their complexity.
However, as we usually recommend that a single experiment shouldn’t be running for more than two weeks, that would be the minimum frequency (bi-weekly).
P.S.: If an experiment needs to have a deadline longer than two weeks, we recommend that you break it up into multiple, smaller experiments instead.
After participating in so many growth meetings, we arrived at a 4-step framework that is able to cover both aspects described above:
One common pitfall of growth teams is to focus on micro-level growth and forget about macro-level growth.
You can address the micro-level as the results of a test (an A/B test of a landing page) and macro-level as the results of your tests for your main objective (increase ACV for example);
To avoid that hyper-focus on what matters less, we recommend companies to start by adding the current measurement of their objectives.
This allows the team to zoom out of their hypothesis and look at growth from a holistic perspective, meaning: how are the results of the tests from your previous sprints actually impacting the team objective and, consequently, the company growth (NorthStar Metric);
Extra tip: each objective should have one assignee. Depending on how your growth team is structured, that assignee could even be a growth squad. The point being, someone must always be responsible for bringing the numbers to the table during the meeting.
That’s the time to zoom in and analyze the results of the tests that happened during the past sprints.
Every test should have an owner, and you should only analyze its results once you have gathered enough data.
Start with the quantitative part (a) adding the numbers, (b) any screenshot or proof-of-concept that proves your point, then move up to the qualitative part © interpreting the results and writing down the lessons you’ve learned, and last but not least, (d) sharing your wins and deciding about scaling that up or not;
Ideally, the whole company should be engaged in idea suggestions. This gives your employees a feeling of belonging, a feeling that they are heard, and that incentivizes them to speak up and share their thoughts. And who better than your front-line warriors to come up with growth ideas? After all, they are the ones struggling with something, they are the ones listening to customer complaints or prospect concerns. Use their knowledge, their experience, and their daily routines to generate a huge idea backlog.
Although the burden of growth ideas is something shared among the whole company, the growth team is still responsible for sorting all of them out and prioritizing it.
We at NorthStar use the ICE prioritization framework, which allows us to search through the whole backlog and find the ideas that best suit our needs in the moment.
For example, if we are at the end of the quarter, our deadline is tight, and we are still a long way from our objective goal, I might filter all ideas by the ones with the highest impact.
Or, if our whole product team is focused on launching a new feature and I cannot count on their resources, I could filter all of them out by order of easiness;
Prior to the growth meeting, each participant should go to the backlog and nominate the ideas that they believe are worth testing.
Once the growth meeting starts, they should have a few minutes to pitch their ideas and defend their positions. If approved, the idea then moves to the up next column, which leads us to the last step.
This is the time to allocate resources, build the team or squad responsible for running everything, setting up assignees and deadlines, and checking whether you need some “external” resources, such as the help of the engineering team, etc.
This is also the moment to draw an expected hypothesis, meaning, what are the results you expect from this test? We usually recommend that you measure as precisely as possible. Otherwise, the data gathered might lead you somewhere inconclusive.