Many people think that release often is more expensive than release once or twice a year. However, release is the moment of truth – the only time where we know if our product match the needs of the client.
If we wait long time between releases, we can find more bugs and incorrect assumptions we will include in the source code.
I used to coach a company which release code only three times per year. When I asked the IT manager about the few number of release, he answered me that he was afraid of the source code.!!!!
That company has a legacy code developed in Visual Fox without unit test and without following the good development practices that each IT company has to follow.
After planning many approaches about to improve the quality of this old and bad source code, IT manager decided to migrate the code to a new platform. At that time, I suggested to hire an Architect (or technical leader) to design the framework for the product and write some code standards such as how many lines per method, coverage of unit test per class and so on.
We agreed to follow Testing Driven Development and as IT manager decided to hire more developers, pair programming was introduced in the department. Indeed, QA manager decided to automate test cases using Selenium (developing test case with Ruby) to provide a robust testing framework which assures a security net that won’t allow to pass bugs into production.
When we finished our first feature did our first release that lasted less than IT manager supposed it. Then I recommended him to create a roadmap based on a few features that has to be on the market in the short term.
Furthermore, the IT manager asked me what was the best way to try a new feature with clients without expending a lot of money. At that time, I suggested him to attend on Lean Startup training which help him a lot. From this moment, he decided to create a Minimum Viable Product to test features that marketing (or Sales department) are not sure about the success of them.
To conclude, the IT manager is not more concerned about the price of each release because he knows as soon as he made a new release he can test the value of new features with less risk and more accuracy.