Program Prioritization Framework at Reforge
Till 2021, Reforge programs have been scoped in an opportunistic way. We might see SMEs who are a good fit (e.g., User Insights or MPM), or we see momentum towards a topic area (Product Strategy). However, this leads to us developing programs with large variability in outcomes. We have some programs that truly over-perform in both enrollment, engagement and satisfaction (or the star programs, like PS and PL), while others that have lower than expected enrollments, with average engagement satisfaction (or the tail programs, like MP/ET).
So, For Spring and Fall 2022, we took a “strategic” approach to program scoping, building programs based on the business goals of existing audience expansion. As a result, we had higher conviction in demand and strategic fit of the program, with a clear view of the overall audience portfolio and roadmap.
However, this led to two key challenges.
- Programs didn’t always have high satisfaction, and failed to drive retention. Not all programs were differentiated from other alternatives on our market. These programs had lower NPS and satisfaction, negatively impacting subsequent cohort enrollment (poor WOM growth) and member retention.
- Creation teams struggled to build good programs because either experts or their insights were low quality. We scoped programs using users and expert panel research to develop the drumbeat, target audience and initial list of topics. We green lit the program based on our evaluation of demand and strategic fit, and THEN identified potential SMEs. This placed all the risk on finding the right SMEs and getting high-quality insights AFTER the program was green lit, and the cohort roadmap was finalized.
The proposed prioritization framework below is aimed at addressing these challenges.
Proposed Prioritization Framework for 2023
For each program idea, we will evaluate the different risks to a successful program creation. There are broadly 4 risk factors that lead to programs not being successful today - demand, strategic fit, supply and insight quality.