Product Development: Frequent Releases vs. Major Releases

This content is syndicated from Edge of Chaos | Agile Development Blog by Michael Dubakov. To view the original post in full, click here.

Yesterday we had quite a hot discussion about releases schedule in TargetProcess. There are two main options how you can release functionality:

  • Release as soon as something is ready (even a single feature).
  • Release periodically, let’s say 4 releases per year.

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Which approach is better? Everyone in agile movement will vote for the first approach. It is clearly a waste to hold a done feature in the backpack without making it public. Every marketer says that release should be a significant event with solid preparation to explain why this release is cool and how it helps to solve real life problems.

In general, it seems  there’s a Development vs. Marketing opposition.

Development wants something quick, off we go, collect feedback and improve.
Marketing wants something big enough and predictable, to prepare all materials and promotion.

I must confess, there is no clear answer to this question. As a developer I want to release feature asap. As a product owner I want to release feature asap, but understand that without major releases customers/leads may have a feeling that there were no significant changes in product over a long period of time. Is this a real problem? I don’t know.

I believe that Marketing should adapt somehow to frequent releases and change strategy to use this as an advantage. How?  This is something we should find out.

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