Continuous experimentation in the B2B domain: a case study

Rapid value delivery requires a company to utilize empirical evaluation of new features and products in order to avoid unnecessary product risks. This helps to make data-driven decisions and to ensure that the development is focused on features that provide real value for customers. Short feedback loops are a prerequisite as they allow for fast learning and reduced reaction times. Continuous experimentation is a development practice where the entire R&D process is guided by constantly conducting experiments and collecting feedback. Although principles of continuous experimentation have been successfully applied in domains such as game software or SAAS, it is not obvious how to transfer continuous experimentation to the business-to-business domain. In this article, a case study from a medium-sized software company in the B2B domain is presented. The study objective is to analyze the challenges, benefits and organizational aspects of continuous experimentation in the B2B domain. The results suggest that technical challenges are only one part of the challenges a company encounters in this transition. The company also has to address challenges related to the customer and organizational culture. Unique properties in each customers business play a major role and need to be considered when designing experiments. Additionally, the speed by which experiments can be conducted is relative to the speed by which production deployments can be made. Finally, the article shows how the study results can be used to modify the development in the case company in a way that more feedback and data is used instead of opinions.

Olli Rissanen (Steeri),  Jürgen Münch (University of Helsinki): Continuous experimentation in the B2B domain: a case study

Presented at RCoSE ’15. Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Rapid Continuous Software Engineering