Who should be involved in tracking plan development?
Best practices
Thora Gudfinnsdottir

Thora Gudfinnsdottir

October 16, 2020

Who should be involved in tracking plan development?

If you’re building a great product—which, if you’re concerned about data analytics, we’re betting you are—you likely have a capable team of people that support you. This team can help you build not just a great product, but an insightful tracking plan to learn from your data. All you have to do is invite them to your pre-release purpose meeting.

During your 30-minute pre-release purpose meeting, you and your stakeholders will align on goals and metrics to design data as well as possible with a comprehensive tracking plan.

Too often, teams lack alignment on why they’re working on a feature and how, exactly, they’re executing it, especially when it comes to communication between product, design, and engineering. 

Instead, by including key stakeholders in your tracking plan development, you can get everyone on the same page and ensure the data you collect answers each team's questions. Furthermore, when you invite reps from every major team responsible for your product to help design your tracking plan, you avoid bad data. This is great for your sanity and business clarity when 41% of companies say bad data is their biggest challenge.

A tracking plan that includes the feedback and expertise of everyone from your engineers to your designers helps you align on the problem your new features are solving, why you’re solving it, and how you’ll measure your success.

In this article, we’ll break down exactly who should be invited to your 30-minute pre-release purpose meeting and what they contribute to the development of your tracking plan.

Engineers from each platform for technical details

When it comes to the technical design of your data and product, there’s no better resource than the developers that built it. Include engineers from each platform in your early purpose meeting so you can get their technical perspective on the design of your tracking plan and gut check what’s possible to track.

After all, your developers are the ones who best know what information is available at what points of the user journey and what data will be difficult to track.

Beyond just giving you the chance to tap into their knowledge, your purpose meeting will offer you a way to get them excited about the success of the feature you’re looking to track. Plus, it will help them understand the fact that data is an important part of your product’s success.

Once your developers weigh in on metrics and understand the role of data in your success, they’ll feel more receptive to implementing analytics with set best practices (which will go a long way in creating good data for your team to use).

You can get their perspective on what’s possible (or not) to track—and find the best way to structure events to reflect your metrics—by asking a few basic questions off the bat. These can include things like:

  • Do these event structures make sense from a technical perspective?
  • Is this information available at this moment in the application?

Armed with the answers from these questions, you can create better, cleaner data to help you better understand your features and identify ways to improve them in future iterations.

Product managers for better insight into your problems

Product managers are often one of the biggest consumers of your data post-release. But you shouldn’t wait until the data comes streaming in to ask them for their opinions on your product’s goals and success.

Instead, invite your feature’s product manager to your purpose meeting so you can leverage their insights to help you and your team understand the problem you’re solving, why it was prioritized, and where it sits within your company’s work overall.

Many of your product managers will have an opinion on your success metrics and the structure of your events. This is because they work closely day to day on aligning development workflows with overall business goals. Use this knowledge to help you create a tracking plan that collects good data to support wider company objectives.

To get the most out of your product manager’s time and knowledge, ask them the following questions during your purpose meeting (of course, feel free to add on more questions as you see fit):

  • What problem(s) are we solving?
  • What are the effects of the problem?
  • Why did we prioritize this problem and feature?
  • What is the goal of building this feature?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you and your team can design a tracking plan that directly ties into the problem your product is trying to solve (and produces data to support these goals).

Designers for accurate customer journey tracking

If you’ve sat in on tracking plan and analytics meetings before, a designer might seem like the odd person out on this list at first. But they provide incredibly valuable insight into your user experience and journey, which helps you design more accurate events and metrics.

Your designer will be able to tell you the exact design decisions and user flow for each section of your conversion funnel. This will enable you to accurately map out how a user will interact with your product and what actions are most indicative of their progress toward conversion.

Plus, if you need to make tracking changes down the line (or if your data points to the need for a design change), you’ll already have an open channel of data-driven communication with your feature’s designer.

To better understand your UX during your purpose meeting, you can ask your designer the following questions:

  • What does the proposed solution look like?
  • What are some important user interactions?
  • What are potential drop-off points?
  • What specific design decisions did you make at this point in the user journey?

The answers to these questions will help you and your team better understand the experience of your user and, as a result, design events and metrics that logically map to that journey.

Data specialists for the best data design decisions

The final team member you’ll want to include in your tracking plan development is a data specialist. Your specialist will be pivotal in ensuring your data is well designed and that you avoid obvious errors that would muddle your insights later on.

Your data specialist can help you settle on the appropriate naming schemas and double-check that the data you need is being fed into your tracking from day one. These data experts bring valuable perspective into what event structures work best to visualize your metrics. Insights into both of these areas will help you avoid the need to refactor tracking analytics in the future and increase the quality of the data you collect. Not only does this help you and the other stakeholders understand and leverage information about your product, but it ensures other data consumers can quickly parse what your data tells them.

Ask your data specialist the following questions to glean the best information from their experience:

  • Do these event structures fit our standards?
  • Will we be able to visualize this easily in our analytics tool?
  • Is there a better way to structure the events for visualization?
  • Are there any existing events and properties that we could be repurposing?

Combined with the insights you gathered from your developers, product managers, and designers, the answers to these questions will ensure your data is consistent and helpful post-release.

Take the next step toward a better tracking plan today

To develop a tracking plan that fully captures all the information you need about your upcoming release—and ensures that everyone can make sense of your data post-release—you need to include a mix of stakeholders in your tracking plan development early on.

Doing so will ensure that you have the perspective of every side of your product reflected in your tracking plan—and that all major stakeholders of your product release understand how to use data to measure success.

Once your tracking plan is ready to go, you can further improve collaboration between your stakeholders by using a tool like Avo. Avo not only helps you keep everyone on the same page by creating a single source of data truth, but reduces the chance of human error during implementation with easy-to-share instructions for developers.

Take a step toward a better data future and try Avo today.