Imagine you have just rolled out a new feature after long weeks of development. Or maybe a whole product redesign.
But right after that, you notice the metrics going down. What would you do?
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Most PMs would defend the decision with all kinds of excuses. Like,
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“That’s a novelty effect. After users figure it out, the metrics will grow again”
“We reached a local maximum with our previous version. Our new version needs time to pick up steam”
Most of the time, that is not true. Neither time nor incremental improvements will help the metrics.
This is a defense mechanism of the mind. Accepting the fact that you wasted a lot of time and resources in vain is a hard pill to swallow. Another challenge is to explain to your team why their work will not be seen by users.
But sticking with an underperforming version of the product is a much worse alternative. Not only would you be making it worse for current users, but for all future users as well.
Remember that such situations can grant you valuable insights. Accept them, analyze them, and try to find a better solution.