Features are the selling units of a product. There are a number of difficult decisions to be made in the context of product release planning and re-planning. Are the key features expected from the different groups of customer’s part of the next releases? Are the features provided the ones really expected? How many features constitute a good product release? How to utilize my development and other resources in a best possible way coming as close as possible to customer expectations? Is re-planning recommended? If “yes”, when and to what extend?
This talk discusses processes, methods and their implementation to support product managers in their product release decisions. The proposed solution approach aims at a combination of formality and rigor (called Science) with the intuition and expertise of the human decision maker (called Art). Stakeholder participation is a key component of this process. The principle of diversification is applied to facilitate their involvement in decision-making. The whole approach has been implemented in a decision support system called ReleasePlanner™. Practical experience from its application is reported.