Building a Pendo Center of Excellence

What is a Pendo Center of Excellence?

A Pendo Center of Excellence (COE) is a cross-functional team of key stakeholders who develop a cohesive strategy and playbook for leveraging Pendo analytics and guides across your organization.

An effective COE develops a structure for consistent, scalable, and effective use of Pendo’s product insights and in-app engagement that help drive your organization’s company-wide initiatives.

When should you roll out a COE?

  • When multiple teams are using Pendo independently
  • When multiple products are using Pendo independently
  • When there are no clear Pendo “owners”
  • When there is no Pendo governance structure (who tags, creates segments, deploys guides)

Best Practice: Create your COE before rolling out Pendo to your broader organization to ensure data integrity and proper controls around in-app messaging.

Who should be a part of your COE program?

Your Pendo COE team should consist of the following roles. Note that the same individual can assume more than one role:

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Your Pendo COE team will enable and support your Pendo users, as well as any individuals who  leverage the shared data to drive departmental outcomes.

Best Practice: Establish a regular meeting cadence (bi-weekly or monthly) for all team members to connect and share findings.

How will you accomplish your goals with a COE?

Agree on your goals and KPIs for success

Some questions to consider and discuss:

  • What are your current company initiatives?
  • What are the initiatives of the teams represented in the COE (e.g. Product, UX, Customer Success, Marketing)?
  • What outcomes can Pendo help drive in connection to these initiatives?
  • How will success of the COE be measured?

Don't have KPIs defined yet?

Take a look at the below KPIs by Team for some of the most common goals that Pendo customers measure.

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Not sure what outcomes Pendo can help drive?

Take a look below for Categorization of Pendo Business Outcomes for some inspiration. 

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Best Practice: Confirm your goals and success KPIs with your executive stakeholders to ensure organizational alignment

Where do you want to focus your efforts?

Your Pendo COE team can focus on three main areas. Although we recommend following the order outlined below, feel free to tackle any of these areas separately!

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Administration

Part 1: Audit

Perform the following administration audits in your Pendo subscription(s).

Pendo User Access and Permissions

  • Is there currently a governance process that is followed when adding users to Pendo?
  • Is the process documented?
  • Is there a regularly occurring user audit to delete users no longer active / with the
    company?
  • Who currently has access to Pendo and what permission set do they have?

Visitor-level and Account-level Metadata

  • Are any key metadata fields missing that would supplement your analytics and/or guide targeting (confirm with the Guides SWAT Team)?
    • Account examples: country, city, state, revenue
    • Visitor examples: role, user type, job title, permissions, profile settings, city, state


Page / Feature Tagging

  • Is there currently a governance process that is followed regarding tagging pages/features in your application? Is the process documented?
    • For example: who tags? Who decides what to tag?
  • What naming convention is being used for page/feature tags, if any?


Pendo Training and Enablement

  • Is there a process for training new Pendo users?
  • Do you any type of Pendo certification process before granting advanced permissions?

Part 2: Optimize

Did you uncover any gaps/pain points in your Pendo administration? Work with your COE Team to address them. Here are some best practices to consider following.


Pendo User Access and Permissions

  • Identify who will be responsible for adding and removing users in Pendo
  • Determine who will have which user roles in Pendo (admin, user, read-only)
  • Create a regular cadence for performing a user audit


Visitor-level and Account-level Metadata

  • Different teams at your organization may want to use Pendo for different purposes. A Product team may be interested in certain visitor/account metadata whereas a Customer-facing team may want other metadata. The Visitor and Account ID naming convention should NEVER change. However, you can update the visitor/account metadata, which is stored under the ID level.
  • Create an ongoing process to gather what metadata each of your teams may find valuable
  • Consider developing a metadata library with all passed values and descriptions for all teams to reference


Page/Feature Tagging

  • Identify who will “own” tagging in Pendo. That person (or group) should have a clear process for what is tagged and when.
  • The tagging owner(s) will need to come up with a consistent page/feature naming convent and make sure it’s enforced for anyone who has tagging permissions. These names should be descriptive enough that someone who didn’t tag the page/feature would know what it is.
    • Example naming convention layout may look like: App (if applicable) - Page - Location - Button. 
  • The tagging owner(s) should also determine the naming structure for Groups.
  • Note: you must have Admin access to create Groups in Pendo, although anyone can use them once they are created.


Pendo Training and Enablement

  • The Pendo COE Lead should gather and own all Pendo playbooks to help with internal dissemination.
  • Host monthly training/office hours to help enable new users and promote project completion
  • Develop a Pendo certification program/Pendo assessment quiz prior to providing access to new users, especially users who will have Admin access.
    • For example, a new user must complete 3 webinars and/or videos.

Best Practice: First take stock of each area with a thorough audit; then implement best practices to optimize your COE.

Analytics

Part 1: Audit

Perform the following analytics audits in your Pendo subscription(s).


Visitor-level and account-level metadata

  • Are any key metadata fields missing that would supplement your analytics and/or guide targeting (confirm with the Guides SWAT team).


Page/Feature Tagging

  • Are there duplicate/unnecessary/missing tags?
  • What naming convention is being used, if any?


Segments

  • Are there duplicate/unnecessary/missing segments?
  • What naming convention is being used, if any?
  • What segments are visible to everyone vs. “only me”?


Reports

  • What reports have been built and saved?
    • Visitor / Account reports
    • Data Explorer reports
    • Paths / Funnels
    • PES
  • Who is leveraging each of these reports and why?
  • Are there duplicate/unnecessary/missing reports?


Integrations

  • What integrations are currently being leveraged?
    (e.g. API, Salesforce, knowledge base)
  • What are they being used for and by whom?

Part 2: Optimize

Visitor-level and account-level metadata

  • Refer to the Visitor-level and account-level metadata section under Administration - Part 2.


Page / Feature Tagging

  • Refer to the Page/feature tagging section under Administration - Part 2


Segments

  • Decide on a naming convention for segments that all segment builders follow. The names should be descriptive enough that users who did not create the segment have a clear understanding of the rules of the segment.
    • Example: Instead of using the ambiguous name of “New Users”, use “New Users Within First 30 Days”


Dashboard

  • Create team-specific and/or product-specific dashboard that are shared across all relevant team members
  • Reports are a great way to align your team around the KPIs that matter most (app retention, completion of key flows, user paths, etc.)


Integrations

  • If certain teams need to visualize Pendo data outside of Pendo, consider leveraging the Pendo API to push data out to 3rd party tools

Guides

Part 1: Audit

Perform the following guides audits in your Pendo subscription(s).


Guide Governance

  • Is there currently a governance process that is followed around Pendo guides? Is the process documented?
    • For example, who does the guide building, guide testing, approvals, deployment?


Public Guides

  • What guides are currently public in your production environment?
  • What outcomes are they driving?
    • Examples: self-serve onboarding, feature adoption, feature release announcements
  • How is the success/effectiveness of the guides being measured?
  • Is the design of the guides consistent with company branding?


Themes/Layouts

  • Are there any existing guide themes and/or layouts?
  • Are there duplicate/unnecessary/missing themes and/or layouts?

Part 2: Optimize

Did you uncover any gaps/pain points in your Pendo guides? Work with your COE Team to address them. Here are some best practices to consider following.


Guide Governance

  • Create a Guide “SWAT Team”
  • Determine who will be responsible for publishing guides to the Production environment
  • Maintain a consistent and descriptive naming convention for guides, such as [Name] | [Audience} - {Details]
  • Create a guide deployment checklist to ensure each guide goes through the correct creation, review, and deployment process
    • Check the guide segment: Who is the target audience? Does the number of eligible users look correct If the guide is using a custom segment, create a new segment with those same rules and assign the new global segment to the guide (now you can apply the segment used for the guide in reporting and analytics tools.)
    • Check the step location: if location rules are in use for guide steps, validate that those page rules are valid before going live.
    • Check the group: Assign the guide a group if one is not yet assigned.Create a guide deployment checklist to ensure each guide goes through the correct creation, review, and deployment proces
    • Check the activation method: If it is automatic, also make sure it is positioned correctly in the guide order list.


Themes/Layouts

  • Create guide templates AND themes. This will ensure all your guides have the same look and feel no matter who created them.


Guide Throttling/Ordering

  • Set guide throttling and ordering standards to stagger the delivery of automatic guides and reduce message fatigue.

Why will a COE matter to your organization?

An effective Pendo COE can help align and achieve organization-wide business outcomes. Establishing a Center of Excellence will allow your organization to become more product-led while placing the product experience at the center of your customer experience.

The Maturity Model

Where are you in the current state of your COE execution journey?

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Best Practice: Promote departmental accountability to ensure the organization is progressing along the maturity curve smoothly.

Have questions? Join or add to the Discussion on our Community forum!