What’s the right time to ensure our products are free from defects? Is it before or after you launch, or some other time?
I’ve written recently on the topic of how to handle defects and bugs through feature development and the purpose and value of stabilisation before release. The conversations that this sparked led me to reflect on when is the right time to handle these, and I found the following analogy to be quite useful.
Did you ever play Jenga? It’s a challenging game of dexterity, patience, and brinkmanship — you start with a tower of blocks, 18 stories high, three blocks per story, then each player takes turns at removing a block from a lower level and placing it on top, until the tower becomes so unstable it topples over.
To ensure that a product is fit for market, as they draw close to a planned release date, many teams switch from feature development to stabilisation (or sometimes this is called hardening).
In a sense, we can liken stabilisation to playing Jenga in reverse.
How do you handle defects in your agile environment? Do you just work on them as you can; do you have a formal Kanban pull system; or do you size them alongside other work?