Just Say No

The Just Say No campaign is an apt analogy when it comes to discussing whether a release should go forward or not. There are times, when no matter what the situation is, you just need to say no. Regardless of peer pressure or other outside influences, you need to stand your ground, and make it clear that No means No.

So how do we know when we have reached one of those points? I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can tell you the things that I take into consideration when I have to make that call.

  • Is there missing or broken functionality? Is that functionality widely used, or is it expected to be widely used?
  • Would there be a degradation to the end-user experience, either in terms of performance or usability?
  • What would the impact to the business be?
  • What are the reasons for needing to launch vs. waiting to resolve the outstanding issues?

All of those factors are considered when it comes to signing off on a release, or conversely, pulling the plug on a release. If you are in a situation where this becomes a real possibility, there a few things you should keep in mind:

  • There is no glory in killing a release
  • There is no shame in killing a release
  • A lot of people are more than likely going to be upset about it

If you start catching flak for the decision to pull the plug, simply explain your reasons for doing so. If your reasons were legitimate, true and honest, then they will see this soon enough, and if they weren’t…then yeah, you probably shouldn’t have killed the release, and you deserve the flak.


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