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Fail to Plan? Plan to Fail.

Fail to Plan? Plan to Fail.

I have been an intern at TOKN for the past 6 months where I have focused on the release strategy of our products, from initial concept through prototype, development & testing, all the way through to production.

As a software tester, it is my responsibility to prepare test case scenarios for the team to review any software issues. I must also ensure that the test cases and test-product documents are up to date so that the developers will be aware of any changes in the documentation. I also participate in design reviews of the software to assist the UI/UX developer.

“It is better and cheaper to find a problem during development process than to fix it in production state.” 

A software tester acts as a middleman between the client using the products and the developers who make them. It my responsibility to detect and resolve the issues in deploying a bug-free product that gives the user the best possible experience when using the app.

Programming can be time consuming and needs logical thinking but at the same time is extremely rewarding when you solve the problem you have been working on. If the product has  many bugs or issues, the company will receive bad feedback from clients. So, it is very important to test the product before deploying it to production. Being a part of the deployment of a number of different apps, including the Safety Suite, Timesheets+ & Workflow apps, has been the biggest reward of all, knowing that I worked on the apps from start to finish. 

TOKN has given me so much knowledge regarding developing apps, debugging, documenting, creating test cases, and marketing. The TOKN workplace has a good & positive vibe and the people here are really professional, talented and friendly. They love sharing their knowledge with me and they really want me to learn. 

The Importance of Understanding Release Strategy.

Although we know the importance of release strategy especially in the software development industry, its something not executed as well as it should be. This is often attributed to things that are unforeseen issues that may occur in a project. 

Here at Tokn, the words “release strategy” get thrown around every day like a hacky sack at a party in the 1980’s. But what does this actually mean? It’s not like a cheap toaster you buy from the local department store that breaks after 3 weeks of use, for you to go and buy another one, to just to go through the same process in three weeks’ time again! The release strategy in the tech game is a bit more in-depth and involves a lot of client input, development and testing to ensure the end app that hits your phone fits to your every need.

  1.        Conceptualize – This step sounds pretty straight forward, but can come from a variety of different places. The concept can be developed internally, or bought forward by you, the client, if you have seen a gap in your workforce processes that a handy app could help to fix. This can involve anything from creating a paperless office, to having mobile timesheets or even allowing your workforce to have all their safety information at their fingertips. This step involves a number of workshops to identify what functionality your company needs and the points of interaction that are key in the app. It’s important to get this stage right to ensure everything runs smoothly from here on in.
  2.       Develop & Evolve – Here is where we start to design the foundation of your app. Now I’m not talking about making it pretty just yet, but more along the lines of HOW we are actually going to make the app work. What parameters do we need to keep to and how are we going to best tackle the essentials that our clients have outlined? This involves collecting all the relevant data and actually building the product. This is where our back-end team really gets involved to get the job done, all while communicating with the client to make sure the end product is evolving to work exactly how you expect it to.
  3.       Test & Re-test – This is external and internal. We will run all the tests in the background to make sure everything is running smoothly, whilst also releasing the product to a few key contacts in your company to make sure the app is working the way you expected it to without any glitches. This ensures a seamless and disruption free transition to the production stage.
  4.       Implement – Once you are happy that everything is running how you want it to, it’s time to go to production and release the product to your workforce – you are now efficiently working and completing all your workflows from the palm of your hand!

Managing the Release Strategy.

As we all know most projects never go 100% according to plan. Here at TOKN we came up with a few simple rules to tackle these common problems that we have all faced in the release strategy.

Plan Ahead.

We sometimes take for granted planning all the possible scenarios that play out and that possible points of failure, thinking that it will never happen to us and its a waste of time. But when it does that, everything falls apart. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Be Agile.

Often one of the hardest things to execute is being agile and having the ability to pivot quickly as needed. It’s essential to have a plan in place for how the code is connected. Understanding this helps us understand what needs to be done more quickly.

Code smarter.

This comes down to how the code is structured. Plan the parts and components to be modular from the start. The more you can reuse a component, the less points of failure you will have. This makes adding or subtracting parts that much easier and reduces headaches in the long term.

The TOKN Difference.

For us, it’s all about making life easier for the client. We don’t tell you how to run your business, instead we have the flexibility to suit your release strategy whilst maintaining control of your release strategy.

One of the biggest issues with app management is the amount of downtime that takes place whenever a new feature is developed, an update is loaded or any adjustments are made. This is where TOKN is different, our platform allows your workforce to still use your apps whilst changes and upgrades are being made in the background, allowing you to manage your apps without disrupting your workforce. 

For example, in our company alone, excluding mergers, we had 6 authors that changed 548 files in a month. That’s why having a flexible release strategy is key to a successful solution.

Learn more about TOKN here, or get in contact today!

Posted
December 19, 2019

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