When making a major tech change, what is one thing your CTO or lead developer should include in a pre–launch plan so the whole team is on the same page?
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. A Clear Plan and Mock Up
The CTO should distribute a plan of attack, and mock-up of what things will look like after the change, to everyone on the team so they know what they’re working toward. A CTO should be able to manage her tech team, but it’s easy to forget the business side of the operation. Make sure your sales, client services and marketing people are also prepared for the changes since they’ll be on the front lines dealing with clients.
2. Specific Details of the Testing Phase
Include specific details of the testing procedure so your team knows what to look for when trying out the new tech change. The feedback gained from this can significantly improve the probability of success.
3. Step-by-Step Deployment Instructions With Time Estimates
When implementing a major technology change, it’s important to have step-by-step deployment instructions with time estimates for completion to help everyone stay on the same page. Without time estimates during deploy, you may not leave yourself enough time to revert in case of any issues. When the team can follow each step and see what the time constraints are, they can then understand what and when their part is.
4. A Tested Contingency Plan
5. Controlled Releases
Like most major tech updates, there will definitely be issues. It is much more productive to roll out the changes in manageable stages. Set specific times during the week or day when new features or functions will go live. This allows for proper quality assurance of all projects, as well as a transparent and efficient plan for all of the non-tech members of the company.
6. Information About How the New Tech Will Impact UX
With clear understanding of the user-facing implications of a major tech overhaul, the rest of the team can wrap their heads around the user experience and how they can leverage that to their advantage and continue communicating strong value to customers. Documentation, screenshots and walkthroughs of new processes will make it easy for the rest of the team to envision what will happen and how it will be better for users.
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