While you’re still in
the planning phase for a new feature, it’s a good idea to also think about how
you will release it. This is something often done within the design process.
Things you should
incorporate into this include:
Who will see this feature first? (Are there internal or external beta groups?)
What is success for this feature?
Who will see the feature once it’s in a steady-state? (Is this for VIP customers or everyone?)
Is there important timing tied to this release, such as an event or special time of the calendar year?
Tools that will help you
with this include product delivery and tracking tools.
#2 Build awareness.
Awareness around a
release is important for both internal and external groups. Within your
organization, do teams have the support they need to be successful? Think about
what your sales, marketing, customer success, or any other team will need in
terms of understanding the feature being released, and how to answer any
questions they might face. Externally, awareness should be tied back to how you
will measure success.
Tools that will help you
accomplish this include go-to-market plans, centralized information
repositories, and any other tools that will help your teams (and customers!)
stay connected, informed, and collaborative.
#3 Measure your release.
After the release has
happened, how will you know if it was successful? Because you already thought
about success metrics in the planning stage, you should be ready to measure
whether or not it was successful.
Tools that will help
with this include those that surface sales and ops metrics. Also, it’s
important to consider these together—look at performance and monitoring
metrics, support requests by volume, and qualitative feedback from customers
#4 Celebrate and
Take time to celebrate
your wins. Shipping software is like a muscle, the more frequently you do it,
the easier it is to execute. If you ship less frequently, the process begins to
atrophy and the action becomes more difficult. Celebration (even for small
wins) provides motivation to continue practicing the act of shipping, and
results in more stable services and products.
#5 Reflect and iterate.
Software is never done,
and neither is a process for software delivery. After the release has occurred
and you’ve paused to enjoy the moment, now it’s time to reflect back on what
went well and what didn’t. Reflect on both process and product. Tie process back
to culture—consider the tools that you use for process, what enabled you to do
more and what was a hindrance? Use this feedback and apply what you learned
from measuring success in the planning phase for the next release. Learn how
you can adjust and improve upon what you shipped.
Adam Zimman, VP of
Product and Platform, LaunchDarkly
Adam has over 20 years
of experience working in a variety of roles from software engineering through
to technical sales. He has worked in both enterprise and consumer companies
such as VMware, EMC and GitHub. Adam is driven by a passion for inclusive
leadership and solving problems with technology. One additional objective is to
be a part of a diverse and equitable company. Not simply an organization that
accepts diversity, but one that actively pursues a more diverse and inclusive
team as an imperative for building better products and services. Adam is also
an Advisor for a number of startups and nonprofits. His perspective on life has
been shaped by a background in physics and visual art, an ongoing adventure as
a husband and father and a childhood career as a fire juggler.