We have just launched our first version of our platform. Our team has decided to push releases weekly according to user feedback. How do we keep our product development on track? We are a self funded three founder team. What protocols are other Startups doing for this?
The biggest lesson I've learned from the last 25 years of working with Agile teams on all manner of software, portal and app releases is this:
What I'd advise you to focus on -- above all else -- is making sure each release delivers more value to your users/customers. Each release should be better than the one before and should include a significant improvement of some kind. Not from your perspective, but from the user's perspective.
If that's not possible, add more time between releases. Release every two weeks or once a month. Frequency and speed is irrelevant to the people you expect to use or pay for what you're doing if each release is barely different from its predecessor.
So even though you've already committed to a weekly release, I'd encourage you to step back and make absolutely, positively sure that you are able to deliver significant value -- what users PERCEIVE to be significant value -- every week. When that doesn't happen, people lose interest at frightening speed. All the protocol in the world will not mitigate this.
That's the short version; please feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss more.
Here's what we do:
1. After each update, team continues to work on next milestone on the roadmap. Reaching that milestone can take 1-3 weeks based on complexity. If things are going well, this will become the next update.
2. We fork off a maintenance branch and work on hot issues - crash fixes, bug fixes, important enhancement requests. Sometimes this will be the next update.
We do weekly sprints and things are always dynamic but in general 2 rules:
1. Executing the roadmap (1) is top priority and hot fixes (2) is next.
2. Weekly updates are desirable but not necessary (it's OK to take 2 weeks to get the UX right and QA done).