“Ship early, ship often” is the kind of mantra that that makes launching new products seem almost intuitive. Launch first, iterate later; move fast and break things.
But if what you’re taking on is big and cumbersome – updating from older technology to a new codebase, for example – that kind of advice has never really cut it.
When we surveyed a handful of experienced product managers, we found that when the stakes are high, they’re busy answering bigger questions:
- “Is the cost of taking significantly longer to roll this out worth the time we lose in market?”
- “Are customers willing to sacrifice having an incomplete solution when there is a promise of more to come?”
- “Are there any potential downsides to not shipping the whole feature at once?”
And when an important new feature is too big to fit neatly into one complete release, they start planning a phased rollout.