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Release strategies for your mobile app

Once your mobile app has been released to your users, there’s no way of recalling it. 

This is why it’s so important to have a defined strategy in place. 

A robust release strategy will anticipate potential bugs and ensure stakeholder expectations are met, and it will also define how your brand responds to poor customer feedback, changes in the market and technology advancements. 

Generally speaking, users like to see new features, improvements, and bug fixes – especially if they’ve parted with money to download or subscribe to an app. Regular releases demonstrate value to your users and highlight that the app they’ve bought into is always evolving. 

But factors like the temptation to add just one more feature, endless feedback, and external dependencies, can all delay your release. Understanding these factors is the first step to devising a successful release strategy.

Below are 6B’s top tips for developing a release strategy that actually works:

Test, test and test again

Smartphones have cemented themselves as an indispensable part of modern life. As such, mobile app usage has exploded over recent years. We use apps for absolutely everything, from waking us up in the morning and combating insomnia at night, to transferring money and tracking calorie intake. If your app’s functionality is problematic, then users have a library of similar apps that they can and will turn to as an alternative. 

Mobile app development is littered with potential pitfalls that can turn users off, such as poor performance and battery drainage. That’s why getting mobile testing right is an essential component for any brand that wants to remain competitive in this oversaturated market. By investing in a comprehensive testing process, you’ll ensure that your app is snag-free and works how it should before it goes to market, avoiding the wrath of frustrated users.

Release early, release often

By releasing early and often, you give users the chance to experience the latest software developments. If you release features once they are completed, it enables your brand to gather invaluable user feedback in a much shorter period of time. These short feedback loops identify feature inadequacies and help steer the product development team in future releases, ensuring customer preferences are catered for. 

This strategy is incredibly useful because users benefit from small and frequent updates that enhance their experience, and it’s relatively low risk. Releasing at bigger intervals will require more time, features, code and testing, which means there’s more risk attached to each release and users are left waiting longer for improvements.

Sprints

Sprints are regular, time defined intervals that make up your entire delivery framework. The features and the time it will take to deliver them will be agreed in advance among your team, and then they will be released at the end of each sprint. They provide your team with an agreed structure and process to achieve business goals, with progress being tracked and monitored for ultimate transparency. 

Using this strategy enables your brand to deliver managed updates to your users at regular intervals. By adopting this strategy, you will condition your team to be more disciplined in terms of meeting deadlines and it will naturally prevent releases from being overloaded with too many features. And because expectations are clearly stated before any work is undertaken, you’ll avoid disappointing stakeholders and users upon release.

Staged rollout

For a more cautious strategy that releases features over the course of a few days rather than all at once, a staged rollout may be suitable for your brand’s release. As the name suggests, the release is run in stages and this allows your team to address any lingering issues before they impact a large number of users. 

Staged rollouts enable your team to utilise analytics to monitor how your app is performing against defined business objectives and success criteria. However, there is a certain amount of discipline that’s required when using this strategy; it can become tempting to continue adding features or making changes, which can slow down the overall speed of your release and make it so big that it becomes unmanageable.

Release checklist

Before your app is ready to go live, it’s important to make sure your release strategy has been followed and everything is in place for a successful launch. 6B advise consulting the following checklist before you go live: 

  • All tests have been carried out and passed
  • Has the app been built for Android and iOS?
  • New features are backed up with automated checks
  • All APIs and backend servers are up and running 
  • All aspects of the user journey have been inspected 
  • The date of release is known to everyone in the team
  • How many users will the app be rolled out to? Will the app be able to cope with traffic? 
  • Who is responsible for release? 
  • What will post release monitoring consist of?

Does your business need help devising a release strategy?

 

Leveraging our vast experience with mobile app releases, 6B helps clients formulate bespoke strategy to meet their specific business objectives within the parameters of their team.

 

If you’d like to hear more about our strategic advisory services, get in touch and we’d be happy to help!

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