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Big Bang Production release

A lot has been said about how early and frequent releases allow business users to start using the system faster and thereby, earning a higher ROI. Conceptually this is true and can be proven through the NPV formula which takes the time value of money into account. Practically speaking, a system is sometimes not actually useful in parts. This is especially true of websites on public domain. They need to have evolved in both functionality and usability before they see the light of the day. There are implications on company positioning and branding if a cut down version either in functionality or usability is presented to the whole wide world.

So does this mean that a waterfall methodology will provide the same ROI where there is a need for a big bang production release ? ROI calculation of the system based on only the productive use of the system ignores the other benefits associated with short frequent releases such as
1. Delivery risks are lowered
2. Activities like focus group interviews, user training, testing etc. can be parallelised
3. Developers can remain focussed.

It should be possible to quantify these benefits and demonstrate that the ROI can be achieved irrespective of when the system is put into production.


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