Enterprise SoftwareProduct Management

Is Your Product Ready to Be Released?

By Rivi Aspler

When is a product ready to be released? The answer depends on many things, but quite significantly, it depends on who is answering the question.

  • If you are a sales person – the product is never good enough to beat the competition….
  • If you are a developer – the product is ready as soon as you have coded its first feature…
  • If you are a QA person – the product will have too many bugs to be released…
  • If you are the end-user – the product is missing features and workflows that you need…
  • And if you are a product manager – you have got to, somehow, bridge these multiple and opposing point of views…

Parameters to consider

In order to determine the product readiness level, you may want to monitor the following parameters:

  • Quality – How many bugs (by severity) does the product have?
  • Content – Have you sufficiently covered at least one ‘big stone’ for this release?
  • RFP Completeness – How well are you covering a target RFP?
  • Usability – The software may run smoothly… but have you received good enough grades in a usability test?

And last but not least, the following parameters will also affect your decision to release a product, whether it’s a good one or not something to boast about…

  • Public Commitments – Have you publicly committed to a product release on a specific date?
  • Releaser Type – Are your customers expecting ‘something’ (often the case with startup investors) or are your customers expecting a mature product?

Now, what can you do with the above information?

  • You can simply ‘feel’ your product’s grade. If you are an experienced professional, your guts feeling is usually right.
  • Or, you can calculate the product’s grade – by weighting, scaling, grading and then calculating your guts feeling into a mathematical grade.
    The attached table demonstrates the grade’s-calculation use case and furthermore demonstrates how the same product would be differently graded, depending on the releasing company.

As one can see, the readiness level of a product is affected by several parameters. But more interesting is the understanding that the very same product would be differently graded by different releasing-companies, depending on the company’s maturity level.


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