Build and maintain a testing roadmap

1. Use a framework like PXL, PIE, or ICE to prioritize your test ideas.

Using a framework gives you consistent criteria to order your campaigns, experiments, or tests and helps you manage your backlog and optimization cycles.

2. Use a tool like Jira, Optimizely, or Trello to build your testing roadmap.

You can even work on a spreadsheet and build your own roadmap based on your specific criteria. Alternatively, Optimizely offers a free workflow management template to get you started.

3. Structure your testing roadmap in a way that makes it easy to keep organized and up to date.

Your testing roadmap should at least include:  A backlog of test hypotheses and their priorities. Current experiments, their status, and who currently owns them. Context on when, where, and how each experiment will be launched. A clear and easy way to sort and filter hypotheses and experiments. Spreadsheets are a good starting point, but using automation and tools like Optmizely can make your roadmap easier to maintain.

4. Keep your process flexible and regularly review your roadmap to track progress and make any necessary tweaks.

This helps ensure your roadmap is always up to date and lowers the chances of potential winners being buried under higher-ranked ideas. Rigid testing roadmaps that don’t factor in new ideas based on research findings and completed tests lack true intelligence and will do more harm than good.

5. Run tests concurrently and build a backlog of ideas to maximize your resources.

Plan around the resources you have instead of grabbing resources to match the plans you have. This ensures you maximize your resources and always have tests running while maintaining flexibility. For example, having a backlog of tests allows one team to work on a group of tests with a slotted approach while the other works on whatever makes the most sense based on what’s waiting on them from the first team.

6. Strike a balance between short-term iterative tests, medium-term innovative tests, and long-term strategic tests.

Building a roadmap that’s too long means committing to long-term tests when your priorities might change. Conversely, building one that’s too short could mean you won’t be able to plan far enough ahead to leverage the benefits of a testing roadmap. Striking this kind of balance is tricky, and there’s no real science to it. Your ideal roadmap length needs to be based on your organization’s testing maturity and agility.