I used to be one of those people who was looking for grand opening of the product. Many big marketing campaign were rolled out, huge secret campaign whereas only a selected people were informed. It felt so good to be a part of those days.
It turned out that none of them was a breakthrough (at least for the majority of the customers)…Why? In my opinion, I think one of the reason, besides standard business reason such as time-to-market, competitor, etc, was the illusion across the team that they would know what customer wanted without actually release often to get the feedback. Product team was too proud that they had been developed product for the industry over 20 years and they had nailed the right features for the customers, the marketing was so professional that they thought their campaign would just blow customer away, the development team was thinking that they were the best geek on the planet…(the list go on and on)
Lots of casualties, people quit, executives were fired. Though it was the failure, it is one of the most valuable experiences. I was happened to be one of those people who made it through the turbulence and witnessed the recovery. It was a bold move to overhaul the way team was working, it took a great leadership from the new leader to marketing “an Agile way” Philosophy. Many small changes were implemented to formulate the right team structure, requirement specification was scraped and user stories was being used with better acceptance criteria. Most people were switching to the smaller release of product rather than a big release. The product started sharing the vision of how the new product would look like as well as the philosophy of how the product should be built. Leaders started blogging and get the feedback from the community. Ultimately, the platform was formed and it started to be accepted by the market. The new normal for the team was “Agile is making the team fail faster”, yes, the release often pruned out the ugly so the team spent time on the right features.
Was it purely because of being Agile? I don’t think so but I know that Agile is a good starting point for the changes.
Are you still looking for grand opening?