In football, it’s more challenging for teams to move the ball inside their opponent’s 20 yard line. The field is compressed, the defense has less territory to protect, and the pressures are higher. They call it the red-zone because it renders teams less productive.
I’ve come to understand that software product development also has a red-zone.
After features have been declared, the user interface designed, the solution architected, and tests put in place, the product still must released (aka the endzone).
Release may involve migrating data or users, integrating payment or communications, fixing bugs, or a litany of other required steps. Often (if not always), launch prohibiting setbacks are uncovered and outcomes are overlooked each step of the way.
I’ve found to get in the endzone you must first define exactly what that means, and then detail the necessary stages to get there as milestones. Lastly eliminate everything accept that absolutely necessary for completion of the very next step. Next steps could be internal demos, migrated users or data, self-serve customer signup, payment passed, etc.
The point is, each milestone should be clearly delineated and communicated throughout the team so everyone has a goal to strive towards.
Being my first product management role, I’m looking to swiftly improve in this area. What did I leave out or overlook? What are some best practices and resources to improve at getting in your software product in the endzone?