Releasing the Product for Scrum Masters – Part 2
When to Release the Product
There are varying schedules as to when it’s best to release the product. Some teams release new product features monthly, some do it quarterly. Whatever the team will decide on, the important thing to do is to ensure that the release schedule has been worked out with and approved by the business, and the product increment itself has met the team’s definition of done.
Coach the team into finishing one releasable product increment per Sprint, as opposed to covering various features in a Sprint. This is to allow for the team to be able to release a cohesive, functioning product increment to production, instead of having a buggy, half-baked product increment.
Automating Release and Deployment Tasks
Aside from practicing continuous improvement, Agile is also about continuous delivery and deployment. This is why Agile teams need to include their release and deployment approaches in their planning so that they will know what to prepare come the actual release dates.
There are tasks that are better suited to be done manually; configuring build servers, running scripts, and rolling back changes are not among them. An Agile team should aim to automate these deployment tasks as to minimize and avoid human error. This is why automation should already be part of the project plan from the beginning as well. Whether it’s building, testing, or checking, there are various tools available to help Agile teams with their automation needs. The aim here is to make the tasks easily repeatable in order to save time and lessen error.
Our Favourite Agile Books
We found these books great for finding out more information on Agile Scrum:
Before releasing the product, Agile teams should also know what to do once the product is out since it will already be in operational mode. This is a time for errors, usage, and logs to be monitored, as they can give insight on common problem areas within the most frequently used features of the product. Aside from collecting actual feedback from customers, getting back-end data can help improve the product. Some teams have a separate operations team to do post-release activities, while some teams do these tasks themselves.
It would be handy for an Agile team to keep a checklist of product release activities so that it would guide them in deploying the product increment with little to no problems. It may take a while for them to find the best approach for releasing the product, but knowing the things involved in planning the release will allow Agile teams to better deploy their product to the public.