Discover more from Leading in Product
Opportunities arising from CI/CD for product managers
Think about experiments, A/B tests, rapid prototyping, ownership...
In today's fast-paced digital world, software product managers are always looking for ways to deliver value to their customers quickly and efficiently. One way to achieve this goal is by implementing Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) practices.
What is CI/CD?
Continuous Integration (CI) is a development practice that involves merging code changes into a central repository frequently. Each merge triggers an automated build and test process to ensure that the new changes integrate seamlessly with the existing codebase.
Continuous Deployment (CD) is a development practice that involves automatically deploying software changes to production as soon as they pass the CI process. This ensures that new features and functionality are released to users quickly and frequently.
Why is CI/CD important for product managers?
CI/CD is important for product managers because it enables them to quickly run experiments and A/B tests, which are essential to achieving business objectives.
1. Rapid Experimentation
Product managers need to experiment quickly and often to learn what works and what doesn't. They need to iterate on ideas and test them with customers to validate assumptions and gather feedback. CI/CD provides a fast and reliable way to release new features and changes to production, enabling product managers to run experiments and gather feedback from customers in real-time.
With CI/CD, product managers can quickly deploy small changes to the production environment, test them with a subset of users, and gather feedback. They can then iterate on the changes based on customer feedback and deploy new versions of the feature until it meets the desired outcome. This approach allows product managers to quickly test hypotheses and make data-driven decisions that improve the product's value proposition.
2. A/B Testing
CI/CD enables product managers to run A/B tests quickly and easily. With CI/CD, product managers can deploy two versions of the same feature simultaneously and track the performance of each version. They can then use the results of the A/B test to make data-driven decisions on which version to keep or iterate on further.
3. Faster Time to Market
Time to market is critical for product managers. The faster they can deliver new features and functionality to customers, the more competitive their product becomes. CI/CD allows product managers to release new features and functionality to customers quickly and frequently, without sacrificing quality or reliability.
By implementing CI/CD, product managers can reduce the time it takes to develop and deploy new features. With automated testing and deployment, product managers can identify and fix issues quickly, reducing the risk of delays or downtime. This enables them to deliver new features and functionality to customers faster, giving them a competitive advantage in the market.
4. Improved Ownership
CI/CD also improves ownership of developers and product managers alike. Engineers are not responsible for programming alone anymore, then handing off the code to QA or the product owner to test and review. Engineers are responsible for the quality of unit test, integration tests or any other tests, the code itself, and the integration pipeline. This means that there is more responsibility on the engineers’ shoulder, but also more ownership.
Product managers, on the other hand, need to ensure overall product quality. They need to influence engineers to run an excellent CI/CD process. Sometimes it is helpful to work together with Scrum Masters, coaches or any other function to get this done.
While CI/CD is good for engineers, we can see that it is also beneficial for product managers. Have you got any benefits to add to the list? Leave a comment!
Get the next issue straight to your inbox ↓
My Personal Substack Recommendations
There are plenty of really good product management newsletters out there. However, I would like to recommend these in particular. Have a look and subscribe if you find them useful! (I am not affiliated with them and will not get any money out of it.)
What I read
This is separate section of this newsletter. I will list some of the best articles I read on the internet. They may or may not be related to the topic of this article. I will keep a list of the best articles (currently >700) at https://www.digital-product-management.com. These are today’s picks:
Cost of Acquisition (CAC) trap: Many companies want to lower the Cost of Acquisition. But the real hero is the velocity of the payback period.
Journey to becoming a product-led company: A case study on the journey from a service-led to a product-led company.
Spending Your Time as Your Career Progresses: How spending time on certain activities evolves as your career progresses.