Apple is notorious for being meticulous about their attention to detail before releasing products – a “measure twice, cut once” kind of company1. And it works for them.
On the other hand, Google takes a different tact and is more “launch and iterate” in their approach to releasing products1. They consider end-user feedback as part of their release process. And it works for them.
When you implement Subscription-based software, you can choose which approach works for you. Therefore, it’s worth a moment to consider which style best represents your organization.
Option 1: You can implement the software as Apple would. You can do a comprehensive discovery, modify, test, and release.
Option 2: You can implement it like Google. You can do enough discovery, test, and release. And then do it all over again until the software is completely rolled out.
There are reasons for either approach and some constraints.
Regarding the quickest time to receive value for your Subscription-based software, it’s hard to find fault with Google’s approach. Conversely, Apple’s historically strong quality-centric delivery makes it hard to argue against the “measure twice, cut once” approach. This scenario works well for product releases or custom code creation projects. Let’s discuss both options.
The “Measure Twice, Cut Once” Approach
- Leads to a higher quality/more thought-through configuration
- Less planned disruptions/changes for the end-users
- Deeper/Richer User Experience and more time for ‘Deep Discovery’
- Slowest to launch – likely slowest to value
- A steeper learning curve with launches and planned changes
- Potentially outdated solutions to specific problems/challenges
The “Launch and Iterate” Approach
- Faster time to market – incremental value
- Incorporates End User Feedback in iterations
- Quicker feature testing and measurement
- Perpetual change – Risk of Burning out End Users
- Incomplete or Wrong assumptions made with the shorter discovery
- ‘Done’ may never be done – new features/change are constant
Which Option is Best for you…
When you buy a Subscription software, your default state should be: I want value now because I’m paying for the subscription now. Therefore, you should always lean towards the Google Approach of “launch and iterate,” as that is more in line with the product you purchased. However, there are two compelling reasons why you should choose the “measure twice, cut once.”
If you don’t know the process or who does what and are starting (almost) everything from scratch with the new Software solution, then spend the time on discovery. Launch and Iterate may cause more confusion than is necessary and may cause more strain than it should. Spend the time to understand before rolling out the new software.
If you know that your team will need a moment or two. Every software implementer knows that they are not the only technological change your end-users have faced in the last years. COVID-19 and AI have just delivered decades of change in 2-3 years. If you know that your team is burnt out (aka Change Fatigue), then spend the time to fine-tune the solution and deliver training rich in content and empathy.
The Choice Bias
From the lens of the implementer, if the customer advocates for the “measure twice, cut once” approach, that choice may obscure the real issue (aka The Noble Obstacle). When customers advocate for this approach with a Subscription software purchase, this indicates three issues:
- The last time they implemented Software – Agile wasn’t a thing.
- Fear of change
- Desire for Perfection
The use of Apple to support this method is deceiving. The difference here is that deadlines for Apple are real. If they weren’t, Apple would not exist. There is pressure for Apple to complete. In contrast, customers who “require” the Apple method usually do not have an absolute deadline. With no deadline or an arbitrary one, “measure twice, cut once” can be an active decision to delay the introduction of the new Software Solution.
If you feel that “measure twice, cut once” is your absolute NO-BRAINER choice, why? The model for software delivery has changed over time – so too has the best way of implementing it. So, if you are nervous, fearful, or need everything to be perfect – we ask instead that you embrace an Iterative approach and Overcome your fear – it’s what SAAS was built for.
References and Resources
1Rookie Smarts by Liz Wiseman; Type: Book
- When choosing how to implement subscription-based software, you have two options: “measure twice, cut once” or “launch and iterate.”
- Apple takes the first approach by focusing on thorough testing and quality, while Google takes the second approach by relying on user feedback to improve its products.
- Both have their benefits and weaknesses.
- The first approach ensures higher quality but takes longer to launch, while the second approach allows for faster time to market but risks overwhelming users with constant changes.
- The right approach depends on factors like your team’s readiness and the need for a deep understanding of the software.
Header Image Source: Adobe Firefly
Originally published February 4, 2018