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Beyond Metrics: How ScatterSpoke Turns Feedback Into Competitive Advantage

Bethenny Carl
👋 Welcome to another interview by Website Planet. Bringing you insights on how the best companies are solving the current challenges in their industry, and how they are planning ahead for the future.

John Samuelson, CEO of ScatterSpoke and software engineer with 14 years of experience, joined me to discuss a major problem faced by tech companies affected by the recent massive layoffs: effectively collecting and making sense of human feedback from the shrunk (and often overwhelmed) dev teams to improve their software.

He described the approach used by ScatterSpoke to help software teams ask, analyze, and act on feedback faster, and made a quite optimistic prediction for the future role of AI in improving engineering teams workflows.

🏆 As of 2024, ScatterSpoke is backed by Atlassian as lead investor, and has 15k monthly active users, including some of the largest software engineering teams at Uber, Cisco, FedEx and more.

What unique challenges are people in your industry facing right now?

In the tech industry, the recent trend of large-scale layoffs has put a lot of pressure on software teams. With fewer staff members and reduced budgets, teams are forced to deliver more with less.

This strain often leads to neglecting one of the most valuable resources for improvement: team feedback. While many companies focus mainly on performance metrics, these numbers don’t give the full picture. They miss out on the detailed insights that can come from real feedback, which shows not just how things are, but why they’re that way and how they can be better.

How do these problems impact them, if they don’t find a solution?

When software teams don’t find a way to deal with the problems of having fewer resources and not enough feedback, it can lead to bigger issues:

  1. The quality of the software they create might go down because they miss out on chances to learn and fix mistakes. This can make their products less reliable and cause customers to be unhappy.
  2. Without proper feedback, teams can’t see what they’re doing well or where they need to improve, which makes it hard for them to grow and get better at their jobs. Over time, this can lead to team members feeling frustrated and unmotivated.
If these problems aren’t addressed, it could even mean the company falls behind its competitors, losing out on business and opportunities to succeed.

How effective are the current methods for solving these issues? What challenges remain in this area?

The current methods that teams use to solve these problems, like using automated tools and setting clear goals, are somewhat effective but still have limitations. Tools help by making tasks easier and saving time, but they often don’t provide the deep insights that come from real, human feedback. This means that while teams can handle basic issues, they might not catch more complex problems that could affect their projects in the long run.

Another big challenge is that even with good tools, if a team is spread out or very busy, it’s still hard to gather everyone’s thoughts and learn from them. This can make it difficult to truly understand and improve how the team works together. So, while there are tools and methods available, there’s still a lot of room for improvement in how teams collect and use feedback to make their work better.

What’s a better way in your opinion to fix these issues, and how do you help implement it?

A better way to fix these issues is to ensure teams have easy access to effective tools that help them gather and analyze feedback regularly, even when they’re under pressure.

ScatterSpoke offers a solution with its easy-to-use platform that facilitates efficient and meaningful retrospectives. This tool not only helps teams collect detailed feedback in real-time but also translates it into a clear, actionable dashboard. This dashboard allows both teams and leadership to see the most impactful issues at a glance and prioritize them effectively.

To implement this successfully, ScatterSpoke helps teams set up regular retrospective meetings that are structured and focused on outcomes. Our platform guides the process, ensuring that every team member’s voice is heard and that the feedback is actionable. This makes the regular rhythm of feedback and improvement a natural part of the team’s workflow, helping them stay agile and responsive to changes without overwhelming their limited resources.

By providing a clear view of priorities through our dashboard, teams can maintain high standards of quality and innovation, making sure they tackle the most crucial issues first.

“ScatterSpoke has revolutionized the way we gather and act on team feedback. It’s helped us identify critical issues we would have otherwise missed.” -Dan,

Engineering Manager, Fedex

Looking ahead 5 to 10 years, what new technologies and trends will have the most significant impact on the issues we talked about?

Looking ahead 5 to 10 years, artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to play a major role in addressing the challenges faced by software teams. AI technologies will likely continue to evolve and take over many of the time-intensive tasks that currently burden teams, such as data analysis, pattern recognition, and even generating actionable feedback from complex datasets. This will free up team members to focus more on creative problem-solving and innovation.

At ScatterSpoke, we are excited to be at the forefront of integrating AI into our tools. We are continually working on enhancing our platform so that it not only simplifies the collection and analysis of feedback but also uses AI to provide deeper insights and more predictive capabilities. This means our users can anticipate problems before they arise and optimize team dynamics more effectively.

By leading the charge in AI-driven team improvement tools, ScatterSpoke aims to empower teams to achieve higher productivity and better outcomes, paving the way for more resilient and adaptive organizations in the future.

What should people do to stay up to date and adapt to these changes? What will you do in this regard?

To stay up-to-date and adapt to these evolving changes, people should focus on continuous learning and staying informed about the latest advancements in technology, especially in AI and team collaboration tools.

At ScatterSpoke, we are committed to helping our users stay ahead of the curve. We regularly update our platform with new technology that we develop to address the “do more with less” mentality that’s taken over enterprise software.

We also provide resources like webinars, tutorials, and blogs that explain how to use new features and incorporate best practices into their workflows. By ensuring our users are well-informed and equipped with cutting-edge tools, we help them not only adapt to changes but also thrive in an ever-evolving industry landscape. The most important thing at ScatterSpoke is that teams are utilizing team feedback in addition to performance based metrics to dominate their respective industries all while building a team driven culture.

Where can we go to learn more?

Website: www.scatterspoke.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/scatterspoke/

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