Ever wanted to know what it takes to see a product launch from start to finish? This 10-part blog series will chronicle just that. But before we begin, let’s discuss a few different development methodologies – Waterfall, Agile and Lean.
Waterfall development is a linear approach to software development which includes gathering and documenting requirements, design, code and unit test, perform system testing, perform user acceptance testing and fix any issues and then deliver the finished product. Product launches for this type of development generally take longer than Agile and Lean. There are fewer of these per year as it usually is a much longer cycle.
Agile is an iterative approach to development. This methodology emphasizes the rapid delivery of an application in complete functional components. Rather than having tasks, there are time periods that are called sprints. Each sprint has a defined time period, usually a few weeks, with a running list of deliverables. Deliverables are prioritized by the business value as determined by the customer. As work is completed, it is evaluated by the project team and the customer. Product launches happen more rapidly with this type of development, so it’s important to get regular updates from Product Management and Engineering on when features or new services are being released.
The Lean process says to eliminate anything that isn’t adding value and only work on what you absolutely need to be doing at this moment in time. Value is defined as any feature that a customer would be willing to pay for. As Product Marketers, this development methodology moves very rapidly and many features are released as betas, so you need to be right in step with Product Management to set release deadlines that will more than likely include a set of features over a certain time period as the product tends to change or get updated very quickly. It doesn’t always make sense to do a launch for every little update, but rather consolidate several updates and work with Product Management towards a date to announce them all at once.
Here at ReadyTalk, we use the Agile methodology. This series will focus on product launches with that Agile development methodology. So stay tuned for monthly posts including tips, tricks and processes for doing the best product launch for full releases, feature releases and/or new products and services launches.