The Ultimate Guide: Avoid These Top 10 Mistakes When Managing a Growth Team

**Top 10 Mistakes in Growth: Learn from a 10-Year Experience**

**Using Percentage Gains**
One of the common mistakes in Growth is relying solely on percentage gains to measure experiment results. This approach can be misleading as different experiments involve different user groups, each with their own base rate. Instead, it is essential to focus on the absolute number of incremental users added for each experiment to truly gauge its impact.

**Goaling On The Wrong Metric**
Another mistake is goaling on metrics that are not tied to long-term business success. For instance, solely focusing on signups may boost active user numbers temporarily, but it will not contribute to user retention. It is crucial to choose a metric that indicates users are deriving value from the product and will lead to sustainable business growth.

**Not Understanding Survivorship Bias**
Survivorship bias is a logical error where insights are drawn from a biased population without considering the selection process. In terms of Growth, this bias can affect experiment results when making significant product changes or email program alterations. To overcome survivorship bias, it is vital to identify and analyze a less biased segment, such as new users, to gain a clearer understanding of the true impact.

**Not Looking At User Segments Critical To Future Growth**
Expanding the target market and reaching new audiences is essential for long-term growth. However, many teams fail to consider the impact of their experiments on these new audiences, focusing solely on the existing core user base. It is crucial to assess experiment results specifically for the target audience, ensuring that future growth is not hindered by catering only to the existing user base.

**Not Having a Rigorous Process for Setting Your Roadmap**
A common mistake in Growth is relying on a haphazard process for setting the roadmap. Brainstorming ideas and voting based on gut feeling often leads to ineffective experiments. To increase the impact of the Growth team, it is important to implement a process that involves thoroughly researching and analyzing experiment ideas before deciding which ones to pursue.

**Not Staffing Teams Correctly**
Improper staffing can significantly hinder the success of a Growth team. Starting with just 1 or 2 engineers is not enough to achieve the desired outcomes. A dedicated Growth team should consist of at least 3 engineers who can work efficiently and effectively. Additionally, it is essential to have engineers who are motivated by driving business impact and possess the necessary skill sets for iterative experimentation.

**Not Aligning with Product and Engineering Teams**
Growth teams need to work closely with product and engineering teams to ensure smooth collaboration. Relying too heavily on other teams or lacking the right expertise can impede the team’s velocity and ability to iterate quickly. Coordinating efforts and having the necessary skills within the Growth team is crucial for achieving desired results.

**Lack of Testing and Experimentation Culture**
To drive growth, organizations need to foster a culture of testing and experimentation. Many teams fail to establish this culture, which hinders their ability to identify effective growth strategies. Creating an environment that encourages and supports testing and experimentation is crucial for maximizing a team’s potential.

**Not Prioritizing Retention**
While acquiring new users is important, equally important is retaining existing users. Many teams make the mistake of focusing solely on acquisition, neglecting retention efforts. Prioritizing retention strategies is essential for sustained growth and long-term success.

**Not Analyzing Data Effectively**
Effective data analysis is crucial for making informed decisions and improving growth strategies. However, many teams overlook the importance of thorough data analysis and fail to use data effectively. Investing in data analytics capabilities and making data-driven decisions can significantly impact a team’s growth outcomes.

In conclusion, avoiding these common mistakes in Growth can greatly enhance a team’s ability to drive successful and sustainable growth. By focusing on the right metrics, analyzing data effectively, and prioritizing both acquisition and retention efforts, teams can optimize their growth strategies and achieve long-term business success.

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