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Yammer's Development Methodology

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We believe enterprise software is most effective when people genuinely want to use it. This is why Yammer is designed with both customers and users in mind. The result is an engaging product that …

We believe enterprise software is most effective when people genuinely want to use it. This is why Yammer is designed with both customers and users in mind. The result is an engaging product that meets enterprise business needs, one that people want to use today and tomorrow. Learn more at https://www.yammer.com/it/product-development/

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  • 1. Yammer’sDevelopment Methodology Building For Businesses And Users We believe enterprise software is most effective when people genuinely want to use it. This is why Yammer is designed with both customers and users in mind. The result is an engaging product that meets enterprise business needs, one that people want to use today and tomorrow. Three principles guide the way we build products ¬
  • 2. We Validate Our IdeasWith DataFeatures start as ideas, but ideas can be wrong. At Yammer, we use data to validate (or dismiss) our ideas fornew features because the only way to know if a feature is successful is by measuring the impact of the change.Before releasing a feature or product enhancement, we perform A/B tests on a group of users. An A/B test allowsus to understand the effects of a change by comparing behavioral differences of users who see the changeversus those who don’t. Depending on the results of the test, a feature might be released, held back for furtherrefinements, or in some cases, not launched at all if it negatively impacts the user experience.Building a Product with Everyone in Mind: Using modern data-driven software development techniquesensures that we only release features that successfully enhance the user experience for everyone —including theoften forgotten silent majority—instead of basing decisions solely on qualitative feedback from a vocal minorityof power users.
  • 3. We Build Rapidly,Incrementally, and IterativelyIn order to make effective use of data, we need to develop rapidly, incrementally and iteratively. This allows us tocontinuously question our assumptions and act on product data in a timely manner. Once the core aspects of afeature are identified, we determine the minimum requirements needed to offer a valuable user experience, buildit, and then test it among a group of users. In the event of a successful test, the feature is released and we proceedwith the next incremental improvements. In an unsuccessful test, we would revisit the feature and iterate on ituntil it successfully enhances the user experience.Reducing Risks & Impact of Incorrect Hypotheses: By incrementally developing features and using data tovalidate them before making further assumptions, we are able to identify any incorrect product assumptionsand correct them early on.Minimizing Change Management: We roll out a series of small changes so that users can ease into new functionsand naturally evolve with the product. This avoids the potentially jarring experience of having to deal with manychanges all at once.Adapting with Evolving Needs: By pairing a data-driven approach with rapid, incremental, and iterative releases,we are able to create a product that continuously evolves with changing user needs.
  • 4. We Rely On AnAgile InfrastructureYammer’s development methodology relies on an agile infrastructure that optimizes for velocity and organizesaround changing priorities, aligning resources to focus on what’s most important. This requires a flexibleproduct, architecture, and organization.Supporting Continuous Innovation: Custom solutions are often costly and difficult to manage in termsof support and upgrades. By having only a single standard product, Yammer is able to focus developmentresources on innovating for the future. And because Yammer is in the cloud, users always have access to themost up-to-date product.Enabling Intelligent, Data-driven Design: Our robust product architecture enables us to carry out analysesacross 6+ million users, using real data to arrive at decisions that meet current user needs. And becauseYammer works with companies of all sizes across various industries, we are able to identify emerging patternsand common problems that may not be obvious within any one organization. This unique viewpoint helps usanticipate needs, stay ahead of changing behaviors, and apply best practices from one company to another.Optimizing for Velocity: At Yammer, our employees are not constrained by the traditional organizational chart.Our decentralized team structure encourages independent decision-making and employee-driven innovation,enabling us to move quickly and provide faster delivery of features.
  • 5. “It’s a challenge for most enterprise software companies to get product changes to market quickly. One of the biggest assets of Yammer is their rapid release cycles. They continue to innovate quickly, and the product is constantly improving.” — Dennis Story, Chief Financial Officer, Manhattan Associates
  • 6. www.yammer.com