Checklist of Things You Must Keep in Mind Before the Release Date

by March 28, 2017 0 comments

By Marc Ray, Sr. Client Services Engineer, Zephyr

Software development efforts all come to a head when the product is finally released. At this point in the process, teams learn how accurately they fulfilled user needs and how thoroughly they tested their programs. However, the project doesn’t stop at its release; agile development process entails support and continual innovation until the end of the app’s lifecycle. This means that teams must create a minimum viable product to begin with and continue to build on it by developing features during each sprint.

Development teams have a number of considerations to make, especially since they are operating within weekly, and even daily, sprints. It’s important that developers and testers keep this checklist in mind before the release date to deliver a successful application:

1. What features are being delivered?

Before the release date, it’s essential to take stock of the work you’ve completed and what still needs to be done. For example, if you finished a number of priority items, but others are still in progress, you can release the completed elements and put the others in backlog to be the first concern in the next sprint. This ensures that critical features will always be the main focus, and can be delivered according to user specifications. Teams will have a more solid guideline detailing what work will be required and associated deadlines.

Verifying what features are going to be delivered will not only enable teams to create plans for the next sprint, but it will also make the release run smoother. Teams will know exactly what code is supposed to go out, which can be automated. Forethought in this way also can enable teams to create testing that will provide more coverage for these areas and determine what defects are most likely to appear. Organizations can be better ready to tackle these challenges and ensure a successful release.

2. What’s your contingency plan?

Defects happen, and while it’s certainly critical to catch them, it’s just as important to understand how to manage your app while it’s being fixed. Software Management Blog noted that it will be important to establish if your software can be disabled with a feature switch or if another deployment is going to be necessary. Teams must also consider how they’ll know if an issue appears. What type of feedback system is in place? Will there be an alert system enabled or do testers need to manually find issues themselves?

Once the feature has been fixed, what type of process is required to reactivate it? Can it be turned on without a redeploy? If another rollout is required, what’s the estimated downtime for this activity? Organizations want to ensure that they meet user needs the first time, but this isn’t always possible. If a bug is detected, it’s necessary to create strategies concerning how to deal with it quickly and the release processes required to reinstate a reliable application.

3. Double check KPIs

Key performance indicators are necessary for monitoring essential areas within the app and identifying areas that need to be adjusted prior to release. As Stackify noted, KPIs can identify page load times, performance metrics and a number of other important statistics. Software testing metrics can reveal a lot about how the product will fare in real world situations. Teams must ensure that they perform extensive testing and that they generate reports to gain actionable information. KPIs can be a critical factor in enabling you to gear the app to better serve user needs and adjust the app to suit established requirements.

“Knowing how many orders are happening per minute, or how many messages are being processed off a queue and how long it takes, or how long a certain piece of code takes to execute is a critical part of your app,” Stackify stated. “Make your KPIs the heartbeat of your application and monitor them at all times.”

To get the amount of data necessary to boost decision-making processes, teams can leverage test automation. Tests can be scheduled to run every time the code changes, providing valuable insight concerning if any element will break when the new feature is added. This will give teams time to make essential changes to enable seamless integration and improve overall reliability.

There are a few essential checklist items to cross off before software release.

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