Gathering Insights - Release Management Best Practices
I'm refining how we manage our release adoption for our community and plan to share lessons learned with the community. While documenting, I realized I'm missing out by not asking you in advance how you do this work and, in turn, compile into a tips & tricks.
I've listed my work-in-progress process below. What are your thoughts? What should be added? Where am I adding layers that might slow me down? And, most important - how do you manage the frequent releases throughout the year?
- We get updates nearly every month -this cadence has been in place since the beginning of 2020
- Some releases have larger roll-out after early access (like private group hubs); other times it's a small tweak or update to the documentation
- We see a roadmap webinar a little over once a year to give us the bigger picture context
My process thus far -
1. Each half we set out a general set of goals for community programming and I make note of which internal stakeholders will need to be informed of progress or help shape the ideas
2. I run these past our vendor to ensure we aren't missing any new great ideas they have
3. I've subscribed to their release notes (pssttt - if you haven't done so for your Flexera products, be sure to add them.) It's a great way to get the push notifications and reduce the need to search.
4. I set time to quickly scan the release notes when I get notified. Here I triage based on how quickly I can implement and/or it relates to our half plans:
- This may have potential - if something may help another team or program, I'll pass it along and ask if they'd want more info
- This definitely has potential and would require some internal work to set-up processes/programs - I set up a meeting with those who would be involved. I'm finding these sometimes have to be a few weeks out due to other in-flight initiatives.
- This should be used asap - I play with the new functionality and then send out instructions to the larger audience. If it's a public feature for the community, I post in Community Hub.
Ponderings - Overall we've adjusted to the more frequent release cadence and I see we have two opportunities for particular improvement:
1. How can I give more early access/advance notice?
2. Do the monthly communications to stakeholders encourage more adoption or do they decrease focus on the larger goals (e.g., are notices that we have a new report view that may be helpful distracting, etc?)
What have you seen at your companies? I'm excited to hear from you - thank you in advance!
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