A feedback loop is a defined process in which the outputs of a system are circled back and used as inputs to inform future behaviour or investment.
In project terms this refers to both the process of leveraging stakeholder insights and experiences to create a greater impact, and the means of growing and sustaining engagement.
Why is it used?
Feedback is the means of identifying blind-spots and broadening understanding – whereas the addition of the Loop transforms a largely one-sided process into an invaluable platform for engagement.
A well-rounded approach encourages a team to give equal merit to both formal (surveys, focus groups, playback/validation sessions, and observations) and informal (whispers, instincts, outliers) feedback. These loops often provide a vital means of validating solutions, ensuring a fit for purpose outcome is achieved. Complementary tools, such as the production of User Stories and Journey Maps[EH1] , can add more depth to project insights.
Changes to – or creation of – products and services are seldom executed in solitary conditions. They require engagement and a variation of perspective.
When is it helpful?
Feedback takes many shapes throughout the course of a project’s lifecycle; for example, during the Discovery phase Focus Groups could be of most benefit, whereas during UAT remote surveying might make more sense. More often than not, informal feedback is gathered on an on-going basis by a team – this too needs to be captured, assessed and continually prioritised.
How is it applied?
Regardless of the approach, Feedback Loops all embody four key phases, ensuring those being engaged grow to be or remain advocates.
Communicate: All loops involve good positioning for the intended audience – Response rates are proven to increase by more than 20% when a strong ‘reason to engage’ is communicated.
Gather & Respond: Providing a friction-free channel for feedback will increase response rates further. While ensuring there is an immediate response to effort will help maintain relations when asking for more feedback in the future.
Act: Finally, the requestor must ‘close the loop’, be this a general communication as to what is being done with the information provided, or a more targeted update detailing how the added insight has informed a decision.
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Altruistic Ventures Ltd
Company Registration: 12440139