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Trying to decide how to do a release for a Scrum project – and whether you are ready for it – Part 1

I was working with a team that was relatively new on Scrum, and they had gone through the required training. This was a product with a development cycle of around 6 months, and the team (in their previous incarnation of using Waterfall would normally take 4 months to reach a Beta stage, and the final 2 months were spent in just the bug fix and stabilize cycle. The team would not do any more feature work after the Beta stage, with the only work required being ensuring that the quality of the product increases and it reaches the desired quality level.
For the team that was moving to Scrum, the plan was to have 3 week long Sprints, such that the Sprints end at the end of the 4 month cycle, and after that the team moved to the traditional bug fixing mode (although in the training, it was emphasized that the Sprint and Scrum process will ensure that the quality level improves and there will be fewer bugs, but the team did not want to take a chance and decided to keep the same amount of time for the bug fixing process (so if there were fewer bugs, there would be a buffer).
However, the big decision that needed to be done was about how to do the final release planning as part of Scrum ? How would the team know that the product was ready for release, and how would there be a heightened sense of confidence in the same ? Further, since this product earns revenue in excess of $40 million per year, there was a lot at stake. The Senior Product Owner, who was also responsible for the overall delivery of the product, wanted to be sure that that the team would have the required information and details to determine whether they were on track for the final release, and wanted the team members (specifically the more senior ones), to get together and determine a set of measures that would determine the release readiness of the project.
In the next post, we will work through more details about the release readiness for the product.

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