Search the website

The Bug Battle: Prioritizing Bugs and Winning the War

Are bugs always a pain? Surprisingly (or not), they can provide valuable insight into how users interact with products and features. They can reveal pain points, areas for improvement, and even new features you have yet to consider. No buggin’ around!

Posted in

Bugs are a crucial part of software development, and though they can be a pain for a Product Manager (PM), I’ve learned to appreciate the value bugs have in the product development process.  

A big chunk of my job as a PM is to optimize features and create products that effectively meet the needs of Optimove users. I must consider all available resources and the ETA for delivery, as you can only launch a functional product within the expected timeframe by prioritizing the most critical issues.  

When a bug is identified, understanding whether it might harm the core functionality in a way that would prevent users from maximizing the value of our products is crucial, too.  

So, how can product teams ensure bugs are addressed promptly and effectively? 

Embrace Bugs, Improve Your Product 

A bug is a defect or error in software code that causes it to behave unexpectedly or, at other times, not function altogether. 

The key to producing value from bugs is how you approach them. Each bug sheds light on a different aspect of product functionality, from cosmetic issues in the user interface to core functionality defects.  

Brands can continuously iterate and improve products through the bugs they identify, ultimately delivering a better user experience.  

So, despite the first instinct being to run and fix them all, it’s not always the best move.  

The Secret to Success? Collaboration is Key 

Collaboration between various departments allows you to evaluate each issue’s severity and prioritize which bugs to fix based on the impact on the product and user experience. Regular meetings should be held between the departments to discuss progress and the issues encountered. 

Working closely with the development team and UX/UI designers is crucial when handling bugs effectively. The development team provides insights into the technical aspects and UX/UI into user implications. As a PM, I provide context for the issues from a business perspective. 

 By working together, we ensure that bugs are addressed with the project’s primary goals in mind.  

Involving the End-User  

Your users are a significant factor to consider when handling bugs. User feedback helps identify the most critical bugs, understand the root cause of the issues, and contribute to finding the best possible solution that adds value to them. 

By prioritizing the resolution of bugs and addressing the key concerns of your users, you can create a product that effectively meets and exceeds the needs and expectations of all stakeholders. 

Refining Optimove’s Smart Preview Feature  

Optimove’s Smart Preview is a feature I helped develop. It allows users to create a personalized email template and mailing list – in one place. The feature lets users preview a template and check that all customer attributes have been correctly inserted into the mailing list before sending it out. 

The feature allows users to conduct simple testing of customer attributes that are used to personalize the template without having to navigate between multiple areas in a product. The idea for this functionality came from a real pain point experienced by CRM managers – and as a former CRM manager, I struggled with it daily. 

During the development of this feature, we encountered various bugs that helped us refine the product’s functionality and add value to the user experience. 

The Smart Preview feature now combines two actions in one place: verifying the accuracy of the data behind predefined customer attributes and previewing the template’s appearance and structure.  

From Bugs to Brilliance 

While fixing bugs may not always be the most glamorous part of a PM’s job, it’s an essential part of the development process that allows brands to create a truly exceptional product. 

By identifying and prioritizing bugs and turning the issues you face into valuable product insights, your brand can continuously improve your products and features and provide customers with an exceptional user experience.  

Check out the short clip “Laugh at your bugs” with Optimove’s VP of Engineering, Rachel Shehori, who shares wisdom and admiration of her field. 

Published on
Posted in