Handling change: Add, Change, or Stop

Awhile back I heard a method for thinking about changes you want to make. I haven't used it much since then until this year while planning my development for Repeat Customer Insights.

It can be summarized in three words:

  1. Add
  2. Change
  3. Stop

The idea is that any change to your business is one of these three. You're adding something new, changing something you already have/do, or stopping something.

This applies to every change I can think of.

For my software: adding new features, changing how the data is analyzed, adding new data, stopping a bug from happening, etc.

For a Shopify store: adding new products, adding a policy/SOP for loyal customers, changing what's offered on the homepage, stopping an under-performing sales channel, stopping an email campaign and adding a different one, etc.

Some changes could be part of two but it's a bit easier to just think which is the main word. It's simpler that way.

How I've used this is by setting up my planning so I'm scheduling a bit of each every quarter. For example:

Each quarter I plan one major Add, one or two medium Changes, and then a handful of smaller Stops and Changes to fill in. If more or less time is needed, I'll shift things around from month-to-month.

The end result is big projects are releasing regularly, while a steady number of smaller improvements are added, and fixes still get their time. No one thing dominates the plan and pushes everything else out.

These words also serve as a way to check on how long-term plans are going.

Haven't Added much recently? Maybe I should prioritize something new.

Nothing for Stop to fill in? I should sit down and find things that are never used or unpopular, and consider removing them.

To start doing this sort of planning yourself, start making a list of changes you want do make to your store (or use one you have). Label each thing either Add, Change, or Stop. Then brainstorm if there are more ideas to add to a word (most people should have more Stops than they really do). Finally, schedule some work from each word. Rinse and repeat.

Eric Davis

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Topics: Planning

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