Challenge: shipping a feature in a short time frame
After finishing our proof-of-concept and scoping for a major feature (Google 2-way sync), we determined we needed several months to complete the feature. That meant we couldn’t ship it before the holiday season, and would need to leave it for early next year.
With this feature pushed to the following year, we had a short gap in our roadmap.
Solution: find something bite-sized
I maintained a backlog of ideas, drawn from customer suggestions, support interactions, and design reviews of the product.
I updated the backlog with additional data from our Customer Survey, and created a shortlist of features to consider. Working with the engineering lead, we narrowed the list to one high-impact, easy-to-ship feature: time zone conversions, meaning giving store owners the option to show available times in their customer’s time zone.
I defined the scope of the feature, and the developers were off to the races. On a weekly basis, I saw demos of the feature in progress and provided feedback.
Knowing we had a short turnaround, I also kicked off launch planning by drafting a marketing plan, including the value proposition and audience, and oversaw development of marketing materials.
Within five weeks, we went from identifying the gap in our roadmap to putting the feature in customers hands. The process helped the team get used to shipping features more quickly.
We saw positive engagement with all launch communications, including the first post on our extension developer blog.