Short feedback loops

Feedback loops

When building a product or writing code, you should strive for short feedback loops. What I mean by that is your code or product or design should be reviewed and getting feedback from others as frequently as possible. If you are working on something for too long without someone looking at it or giving feedback, you run the risk of building something that no one wants.

For a developer, one example is to write small PRs, there will always be large PRs needed sometime, but try to have 80% of your PRs not take more than 1-2 days to be ready for review. And try to have the changes in each PR reviewed by Product and Design where appropriate. Get feedback and get it often. And have Documentation, QA, Infrastructure and Security teams involved early, so they are aware of what’s going on and they can be prepared to help you when you are ready to deploy your changes. Roll it out to customers, get their feedback, both from talking to customers and also from analytics tools that show user behavior and usage patterns and iterate. But that’s not all, a very important step is to demo your work (product or technical) to the rest of the company, so they are aware that a new product feature or piece of infrastructure exists. It gets you and your team/product visibility and you can help someone else who might be trying to solve similar problems. It opens up opportunities to collaborate and network with other folks in the company. Bonus, if you have a product or a company of the size that can help your local communities, talk to your local government agencies and see if your company can help improve your community and get feedback and ideas from them as well. If you are lucky to be a company like Apple or Google or Airbnb with national and state governments as stakeholders, have a channel of communication open with them and incorporate their feedback into your products.

Building anything is an iterative process and the more feedback you get, the better the end product will be. And the side effect of this is you build a team and company where everyone is engaged, constantly talking to each other, it builds community, bonds team members and builds trust and you end up building a happy, productive team, a delightful product and a loyal customer base. Try it, I promise the sum of all the little iterations will be greater than the parts.