Agile Management and Preparing an Organization for Product Release

By Mark C. Layton

When an agile-managed product is ready for release, the product owner and scrum master prepare a sprint backlog for the release sprint to get the organization ready for the new product, recognizing that a product release often affects a number of departments within a company or organization.

The release sprint backlog should cover activities by the development team. It also needs to address activities to be performed by groups within the organization, but outside of the scrum team, to prepare for the product deployment.

These departments may include

  • Marketing: Are there any marketing campaigns related to the new product that need to launch at the same time as the product?

  • Sales: Are there specific customers who need to know about the product? Will the new product cause an increase in sales?

  • Manufacturing: Is the product a physical item?

  • Product support: Does the customer service group have the information it needs to answer questions about the new product? Will they have enough people on hand in case customer questions increase when the product launches?

  • Legal: Does the product meet legal standards, including pricing, licensing, and correct verbiage, for release to the public?

The departments that need to be ready for the product launch and the specific tasks these groups need to complete will, of course, vary from organization to organization. A key to release success, however, is that the product owner and scrum master involve the right people and ensure that those people clearly understand what they need to do to be ready for the product release.