Developers: 5 tips for launching new app features

Mobile development is on the rise, and these tips can help DevOps teams better plan for app feature releases.

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Mobile developers are among the top 10 most in-demand and hardest to fill tech jobs, according to data from Indeed. Companies across industries are increasingly seeking these professionals to build out apps, and with that work comes rolling out new features to keep them up to date and meeting internal and external customer needs. 

Here are five tips for successfully launching new app features, and some of the tools that will help you accomplish your goals, according to Adam Zimman, vice president of product and platform at LaunchDarkly

1. Plan the release

In the planning phase and design process for a new feature, consider how it will be released, answering the following questions, Zimman said: 

  • Who will see this feature first? (Are there internal or external beta groups?)

  • What is success for this feature?

  • Who will see the feature once it's in a steady state? (Is this for VIP customers or everyone?)

  • Is there important timing tied to this release, such as an event or special time of the calendar year?

SEE: 10 ways to build reactive mobile apps that engage your users (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Tools that will help: Product delivery tools; tracking tools

2. Build awareness

Internal and external groups must be aware of the upcoming release, and have the support needed to be successful, Zimman said. 

"Think about what your sales, marketing, customer success, or any other team will need in terms of understanding the feature being released, and how to answer any questions they might face," Zimman said. "Externally, awareness should be tied back to how you will measure success." 

Tools that will help: Go-to-market plans; centralized information repositories; any other tools that help teams stay connected and collaborative

3. Measure your release

Developers and teams need to have a way to measure success after a new feature was released, Zimman says. 

Tools that will help: Any that measure sales and ops metrics 

SEE: 10 dangerous app vulnerabilities to watch out for (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

4. Celebrate and recognize

Make sure you take time to celebrate your wins with your team, Zimman says. 

"Shipping software is like a muscle, the more frequently you do it, the easier it is to execute," he said. "If you ship less frequently, the process begins to atrophy and the action becomes more difficult. Celebration even for small wins provides motivation to continue practicing the act of shipping, and results in more stable services and products." 

5. Reflect and iterate

Software development and delivery processes are never really finished, Zimman said. After the release goes out and you've celebrated, take time to examine what went well and what did not, in terms of both process and product. 

"Use this feedback and apply what you learned from measuring success in the planning phase for the next release," Zimman said. "Learn how you can adjust and improve upon what you shipped." 

For more, check out How to build a secure mobile app: 10 tips on TechRepublic.

Also see 

UX designer creative group working about planing mobile application project with sticky notes. User experience concept.

Image: iStockphoto/Yok46233042