The possibility to understand: SaaS Product Metrics

Colorful Rulers to Measure
Do you measure up?

Part of the compelling nature of SaaS Products is the possibility to understand the user and improve on the go. Any Product Manager will literally have to understand what are the use-cases for customers and how to focus on the important areas. Just recently our team led the debate which metrics would be the right ones to focus on.

Nancy Wang, Head of Product Management at Amazon Web Services, highlights six product metrics enterprise SaaS companies should track.

In this Article, Nancy Wang, head of Product Management at the most successful cloud service providers, shares her insights on important metrics to keep an eye on. The possibility to understand often goes overboard and requires focus.

The case under discussion in the article revolves around paid products. Derived metrics are a foundation that serves as a blueprint to other products in the SaaS space. Goals differ, but ultimately, to make a product successful, it requires an understanding of how successful customers were, using the product. Following the established funnel pattern, users are being segmented into funnel. Along that funnel, the metrics acquired need to reflect the stage of the journey the user is on.

At the top of the funnel, most often the interaction is anonymous and requires profiling to understand the audience coming in. Further down in the funnel, metrics capture engagement and transaction. Towards the end of the funnel, the metric needs to relate to retention.

Source: Do You Measure Up? Metrics for Enterprise SaaS Product Managers

Complex Processes

Observation

Organizations have to become more mature in their processes while they grow. While this is true for all types of organizations, my perspective is an IT and IT related one alone, also being part of other organizations. With complex technologies coming into every aspect of business, individual solutions are being provided by increasingly specialized vendors. With this, the number of service providers, managing products and – more importantly – solutions, the number of involved parties rises, which in turn increases complexity.

Problem

Now that setup of multiple parties involved requires organization to make it work properly. Processes need to be introduced, to track progress, make sure the right parties get the right information at the right time, and progress and outcome are trackable and manageable.

All of the requirements are clear to justify a strict process. Provided they are viewed from the right angle. Participants in the process, staff executing individual steps, have difficulties seeing the purpose.

Improvement

A transparent process is easier to follow for individual contributors. Management needs to feed back outcome of work, results to their staff. When everybody understand what he is doing, less steps will be done wrong. Eventually it will even take out complexity out of some processes, because transparency can help avoid the need for exceptions to be built in.

Please share your thoughts!