A software application goes through many stages before it is released, starting from ideation, to testing and bug fixing. With all the efforts and capital you invest in the product development process, it is natural for you to look for commercial successupon its release. And a bug that might fail the application at run time or during the execution phase is understandably your biggest fear. But to err is human and no product dev is complete without the much-necessary battling with the bugs and spoof-proofing of the release. That’s what all successful enterprises do. But how? We spill the beans. Here we share the most practical ways in which you can improve your software release management, without defying the release deadlines of course!
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1. Understand the market
As a company wishing to launch new software or its update in the market, you need to understand the needs of the end user. There should be a market for the software and you need to capitalize on it. For this you need to stick to the deadlines and ensure that all other processes working behind the scenes are in sync with the release date. Any delay in launching the product will result in compromising with the quality and may also create redundancy for the product in the market. This creates an additional need for reduced time to market and faster product roll-outs.
2. Regular updates to stay in limelight
As a software firm, you must be aware of the importance of updating your product. This needs to be done regularly else with the stiff competition that exists in the market, today’s leader can be easily replaced by someone else tomorrow. For this, you need to plan the updates as an integral part of your product strategy and ensure that the team is always working towards it. Customers look forward to new features in the software and unless you can give them an updated version at regular intervals, chances of their migrating to different software are very high. You will need to work with a release plan targeting the next 12 months. Besides, if any defect or bug is reported by the users while using the product, you must quickly release a patch or send out an update to address the issue.
3. Bring in standardization
As a software firm, you must be developing more than a single product. Instead of reinventing the wheel every time you have a new product idea, it is better to standardize your processes. This will help you save time and the employees will know exactly what to do next without waiting for orders from higher ups. The only negative of this is that with new ways of doing things being discovered almost daily, the process itself can become redundant. You will, therefore, need to revisit and check it and if required tweak it to benefit the organization. An important aspect of standardization is automation. It saves both time and man power and also ensures that your results are consistent every time (which is a big requirement from any software) so ensure that the processes are automated wherever they can be.
4. Motivate employees
Whatever you might do with processes and strategies, it all can amount to zero if the man who is behind all this is not in sync with your objectives. Software has to pass through many teams before it can be finally released so it is important that at every level, the people involved with it understand their role in delivering the product within the deadline. It starts with selecting the right people and then investing in them through incentives etc. Also getting them all onboard to understand what the product means for the company in terms of revenue is important.
5. Open lines of communication
Finally, it all boils down to communication. From the developer to the tester to the marketing team all have to have the same dream and expect the same results. Information which is key to success should be made available to all the parties at all stages without anything held back. This seemingly small step is as important for it helps iron out any inconsistency in expectations that any of the teams might have.
Managing a software release involves many aspects that we have read through above. Despite following them like a guide, there are chances of mistakes being made. Learning from these mistakes and updating the process will definitely reap benefits for the company.
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