Smooth Product Delivery : How to avoid last minute crunch situation

Everyone feel panic in last minutes whether they are small or big players. No matter what industry you belongs to or what hat you are wearing in your team. Whether you are an entrepreneur, product owner, team lead or an individual contributor , at some point of time that everyone feel that panic. Those who overcome these situation in controlled way, they complete their journey smoothly. Sticking to basics is key to success.

The basics of handing panic situations were taught us in childhood, but we actually focus on all other things other than basics. We always had a final exam , before that we had many small, small monthly/ quarterly exams. We also appeared for mock tests / assessments as well. Post every assessment we were always asked to analyse what when well and what not. Some times we performed this analysis and some time we didn’t. Reason for not performing this analysis was that now exam is over, why we need to recheck everything. I hope this explains everything which I’m about to explain in my rest of the article. Product delivery should goes through similar phases.

Planning is the kick of point as usual. But preparing a big document for planning and filling planning document templates should not be the end of planning. At many places this is observed that team is completely focused in creating so many planning document and end up in spending weeks in doing same. That should not be the way. Agile Methodology has already eased the process so use Agile effectively and divide your big chunk of work into logic units. Plan for your tech-stack and infra-structure ahead of time. Define the Acceptance Criteria for each feature clearly. User tools like JIRA for planning the backlogs. Do not rush behind latest techs without checking skill-sets you have in your team. This doesn’t mean that you need not to explore upcoming tech stack. Design POC’s for latest tech-stack ahead of time in planning phase only. Explore tech blogs for scalability of tech-stacks and confirm the same in you POC’s with mock data. Keep at least 15–20 % of buffer time for all activities.

Proofreading is something comes next in this cycle.These activities can be performed at certain intervals throughout the product life cycle. This activity can be supported by code review, peer review activities and retrospective meetings. Quality team also plays key role here. You can divide life cycle of product into small phases and perform review of product at those intervals. Many of you may think yes we are doing this anyways. Yes you are doing this but are you calculating the velocity of your sprints? In most of the cases it is observed that people have very low velocity in initial sprints and then at time of product delivery, people get lot of items to work on. Key here is make sure you assign proper story points to all tickets, have a controlled and consistent velocity of all sprints.Keep close watch on Burn Down Chart and sudden deviations must be avoided.

Internal Demo helps team to mimic the final delivery. At regular interval conducting such demo helps everyone in developing better understanding of your product and gives a broader picture of your position with respect to actual delivery. You can mark these series of internal demo’s as small small milestones and you can evaluate your progress accordingly. With these milestones achieved, you can cut your release branches with working codes and allow your quality team to perform thorough testing.

These points may look trivial but they have bigger impact. Most of you might say that , yes I’m already aware of these things. But question remain same, you know these things but are you strictly adhering to these point ? You know the answer better than anyone else. Keeping these points in your mind , you can achieve many milestones step by step.

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