Dealing with Change at Lightning Speed
A company’s ability to deal with change and adapt accordingly to changing conditions will improve its competitiveness in the marketplace. Companies that struggle with slow feedback loops will find themselves caught up in trying to solve problems that have already changed or are not relevant anymore. Having a fast feedback loop allows the dominance of a company during market changes.
A customer using the customer sales management system had a deadline for the submission of reports. Approximately 800 companies assigned to each performed various tasks and submitted reports showing the work completed. There were some features and latency problems that the client wanted to be fixed, and the deadline was one week away. The team was able to quickly get the high-priority features added and latency problems resolved three days into the week using state-of-the-art engineering practices, automated testing, and automated deployments. They went live before the deadline to get much-needed feedback on the changes, in a real production environment.
Why did they succeed?
If they had waited until after the deadline, the development team wouldn’t have obtained the valuable feedback from the end-users regarding the added features, nor the feedback from a production environment perspective, since the client wouldn’t be using the system until the next deadline, which was months away. Using this feedback from deployed features in a production environment allowed them to make more improvements so that by the following time frame, the delivery team would be able to deliver even more value quicker. Being able to perform a full cycle of development from client request to production deployment in a few days helps to ensure the company can quickly adapt to changing market conditions.
Feedback is important. No matter what stage of product development we are in. Also, early feedback results in building better and stronger relationships with users and stakeholders.