This one is last but not least- much excellent product flounder because of poor delivery. Why? I think it has to do with the fact that delivering a great product is exciting but attending to all the details around delivering it to a customer is perceived as boring. In a healthy organization, delivery is highly processes (checklist) driven and tightly linked to the output from development and planned discovery from the customer.

Four telltale signs you have a healthy delivery process:

  1. Well Delineated Transition from Development to Delivery
    Are all the things you need to do to make sure you can upgrade to the new release and enable customers on it well described? Implemented in a systematic way?
  2. Strong Linkage to Discovery
    Inevitably, customers about new features will arise during development that just can’t be answered without a direct interface to customers. Are the seeds of discovery planted during delivery?
  3. Changes are Explained (better: Sold) to Users
    Will your customers be as psyched as you are about the new features? Have you given them a reason to be? You need them interested before you can discover whether they like the new stuff.
  4. Delivery is Process Driven
    Is the delivery process itself highly process-driven? This means having clear, documented processes in place with distinct inputs and output. Each should have a clear owner as well.

Four telltale signs you do not have a healthy Delivery process:

  1. New Releases Just Arrive
    Does your operations team struggle with new releases? Do customers? These are signs of the linkage from development needs work.
  2. First News on Release is in Ticketing System
    Is the first data you have on a news release from the ticketing system? If so, there may not only be an issue with the linkage with development but discovery as well. You may need to review your customer development infrastructure.
  3. Heavy Trouble Tickets
    Do you receive an uptick in trouble tickets after a new release? Any product change will drive an uptick in your support volume but if you’re seeing large spikes that are not a good sign.
  4. Little Process
    When things go sideways, do you have a process to review as a starting point to figure out what went wrong? If not, more explicit process development is something you may want to consider.