A question for PMs: How often do you launch new features?

I was once asked this question and I had no experience in the PM position. So just want to know how you guys actually work.

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Generally: as often and early as possible, but only when they are ready. Depending on process: Scrum: earliest every two weeks. But Sprint does not mean you have to release but the quality should be high enough to be able to release. There are several good reasons not to release just because the Sprint ended.

Shape Up: every 8 weeks

Continuous deployment: whenever ready

Quarterly release windows at large corporate: well… each quarter …

So it simply depends on process.

One other note: the number of features launched is pretty irrelevant. The question should be: how often do you provide new or more user value and how do your Male sure you actually released something useful?

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@Naominwosu I think your “one other note” is the most important part of this. Releasing features shouldn’t be a big part of how you determine success for yourself. It’s important to release things sure, and at some orgs its more important than others, but understanding the quality of your product and improving it is really the goal.

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Industry will play a big role in this. Anything in a highly regulated/ISO compliant industry will make it virtually impossible to release each sprint. Release cycles will be more monthly to quarterly.

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Ideally every sprint, but my current company is still marketing their release pipeline so we’re putting out code once a month, still a huge improvement over the one a quarter to a semester release cycle they used to have when I joined.

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I’d like to release every sprint but my firm is mired in bureaucracy where the “cloud deployment team” (read: clowns with a basic cert) control the flow instead of the actual development team.

For a 0.X bump or even a 0.0.X it takes 2 weeks minimum if you have your ducks in a row.

At this rate I’m thinking about releasing to a develop branch every sprint but doing production on a quarterly basis.

Jesus I need another job…

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I’m talking in generalities here - there’s no hard-and-fast rules - but typically:

  • We release something every sprint. It may be behind a Feature Toggle, or incomplete, or just a bug fix, but typically we always have some code to release in a sprint.
  • We release a small but noticeable feature (UI tweak, workflow tweak, new integration), at least every 2-3 sprints.
  • We release a ‘big’ feature every quarter
  • I’ve released a new ‘product offering’ (eg; a new product or a new pay tier/feature set) three times in 20 months.
  • We deprecate features slowly, not until we have another means to address the original use case
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Have features tested and ready to go? Every 2 weeks for minor stuff, usually after a combination of sprints for more major stuff.

Actually release the features to our customers? 3-4 times per year due to the nature of the industry. It’s not a strictly digital product so part of the feature release process involves having to physically go to a secure location and upgrade their version of our software. It’s not a situation where updates can be pushed whenever we want to via the internet.

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This question was to sus out the project managers amongst PMs. When a PM isn’t trained to launch products, they tend to try to dodge the questions, and often have been at a company for over a year and has never launched anything.

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