What are your best practices for doing a Pendo cleanup or refresh?

Hi all,

I've taken over as primary Pendo admin for an installation that has been around for a few years. There hasn't been much process or governance and it's been very much a crowdsourced approach to date. As you can imagine, things are a bit messy at this point and my first project in this new role is to clean up and refresh our Pendo installation. For example, we've done much more tagging than is likely necessary.

I come from a tech comm background, so my first step is to do an audit - users first, then guides, tagging, segments, and reports. But it's a lot to audit and things like Segments pose challenges because I can't export a list of the almost 600 segments that have been made available to everyone.

One of the outcomes of this project will be the right amount of process and governance, and I've reviewed Building a Pendo Center of Excellence.

If anyone has done a major cleanup like this, can you share how you've approached things or what you've found helpful?

How did you handle auditing and then cleaning up excess tagging of Features and Pages? Did you do any data exports to capture things before deleting tags? For example, it looks like some folks marked certain tags "deprecated" and building new ones when retiring or changing the product UI, rather than updating the existing tags to the new process.

I've read a few other threads around auditing and maintaining the system, but didn't find much about a cleanup on this scale. Thanks in advance for suggestions! 



  • Hi Renee - I recently went through the same process. For guides, I created a shared Google Sheet with all active guides. By looking at guide creator or who it was last updated by, I confirmed what should be active and what could be disabled. I then audited what needed to remain active for accuracy (in content and segment) and accessibility. It took a while and required a lot of sets of eyes, but the shared sheet made it easier to keep things straight and tag the relevant people to take a look. Once that list was established, I mapped the guides with our Product Managers using a Mural stepping through our site to make sure nothing was redundant or missing.

    For features, I did do a large scale export to Google Sheets before making changes. To prioritize the very large list, I sorted so features with no clicks in the past 6 months were at the top. That gave me a list of things that were likely retired or had inaccurate tags. I worked with PMs to identify which features were retired or which just had inaccurate feature tags. If the retired feature was not replaced exactly but the data would still be useful to look at historically, I added "RETIRED" to the front of the feature name. If the feature was just inaccurate or redundant, I deleted. When the feature should be working but wasn't, I had PMs send screenshots of what the feature should be and then I went in and found the most accurate tag for it. If nothing accurate existed, I added a column to the sheet for "recommended data id" so they can submit to their devs. 

    I used color coding to stay sane while going through everything. These categories may help you get started:

    • Green = All good, no changes needed
    • Yellow = Need to dig into it more/edits pending
    • Red = Delete feature (or disable guide)
    • Purple = Rename for accuracy (including retiring features)
    • Blue = Needs new data ID

    The order I've been tackling the clean-up: 

    • Users
    • Guides
    • Features
    • Pages
    • Segments (still haven't found a good way to handle this, so I'll follow the thread if anyone has!)
  • Hello Renee S.!  Subscription Audit and Cleanup can be an incredibly daunting exercise as you are no doubt finding, but from what you're describing (and the great recommendations from Kristen Gray) it sounds like you're headed in the right direction.  The best advice is to just start with a section and get going. 

    Guides are typically the first hurdle to overcome since they potentially impact your user experience and can also be rather complex to understand the intent or initial lifecycle intended for a guide if not well documented internally.  The best start is to just extract a list of your guides and start going through them to better understand why they were built and if they are still necessary.  A recently added feature allowing you to add a description to your guides within Pendo can help with flagging these as you're done with your analysis.

    Tags (both Pages and Features) can also easily get out of hand.  The good news with Tags is that they can easily be rebuilt if you are a little overzealous with your cleanup.  Just keep a good record of the tags that you delete, and the rules associated, and you can recreate them again if the need ever arises.

    Pendo Professional Services has two offerings specific to this exact use case where we can help educate you on what to look out for within an audit, common governance policies to help keep the subscription maintained, and even offer some hands-on help with auditing and cleaning up your subscription.

  • Thanks for the detailed answers Kristen Gray and Greg Nutt. I may have some followup questions as I get further along, but this has been helpful. And also good to know my first instincts were correct, in general.