Always Be Releasing

In reviewing older posts, I came across this little gem that is particularly relevant to development today.

The succinct message? Burnout looms when we aren’t releasing regularly.

A client of mine recently embraced agile methodologies like iterative development. Initially, we had three-week sprints. However, feedback from the testing team prompted a shift to more frequent, one-week iterations. A challenging change, but it brought to mind the principle:

“When feeling overwhelmed, reflect on what you can release this week.”

During a discussion about the compressed timeline, two points emerged:

  1. Time Sensitivity: Missing a single day puts you 20% behind. This can be daunting, especially for teams accustomed to compressed work weeks or juggling multiple commitments.
  2. Limited Flexibility: A one-week iteration eliminates the pitfalls of endless design-tweaking. The one week iteration ensures there are no “beware the man in a dark room” syndrome; however, it offers little room for significant redesigns and refactoring. Those who love reiterating designs might struggle with this pace. Our remedy? Enforce that tasks must be completed within an 8-hour frame. If not feasible, break it down further. Consider occasional light iterations or dedicated refactoring sprints. But caution: mid-week refactoring that disrupts the code may necessitate a rollback.

The focus shifts from “What am I working on?” to “What am I releasing this week?”

Consistent releases compel teams to function efficiently. Our regimen comprises:

  • Monday: Morning release, followed by a backlog review.
  • Wednesday: Feature Go/No-Go decision.
  • Friday: Final check-in, with room for weekend adjustments.

From a consultancy standpoint, weekly sprints are intriguing. They instill an agility in clients to conclude a project whenever they deem fit, be it due to budget constraints or feature completion. And that’s advantageous. As consultants, our mission is to facilitate businesses in delivering solutions. With a one-week cycle, you’re constantly prepared to deliver. And it invigorates Mondays!