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The Benefits of Early Release

Tabea De Wille writes about how earlier releases relate to value creation.

Value creation starts with the first release, which is why it can be helpful to release early.

Benefits include

  • a quicker return on the initial investment
  • spotting of errors earlier on in the process, which makes for less expensive re-work
  • receiving feedback from customers early
  • overall reduced risk

These benefits demonstrate why it is important to minimize lead time and be able to release something valuable as quickly as possible. Here, the minimum viable product can be a useful concept.

The move from sequential projects to incremental projects has a lot of benefits when it comes to reducing lead time. Gains can be made especially in the hand-over step between different processes but also in collaboration and communication improvements in general.

The challenge when designing your processes for localization is that on one hand you want to reduce lead time and release to customers as quickly as possible, but on the other hand rework of localization adds cost that needs to be factored in when budgeting for your localization. This is a difficult balance to achieve, because you want to delay localization as much as necessary in order to ensure that the development team is reasonably confident the content is ready for localization, while avoiding delays that will unnecessarily increase the time to release.

A helpful strategy here can be to observe the bigger picture by talking to the development teams and observing patterns in the development lifecycle that allow you to predict the ideal point to start localization. While this will likely result in some scenarios where content needs to be re-localized or is localized and then not used at all, taking the bigger-picture view and accepting some inefficiencies on the granular level makes a continuous process that includes a feasible localization approach rather than one in which you unrealistically attempt to avoid any and all rework costs. Working with general patterns will also allow for a greater degree of automation, which is an important feature of this approach.

Article by Tabea De Wille, University of Limerick, Dept. of Computer Science & Information Systems

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