Creating the ultimate customer-friendly software release schedule

By: Patrick Daniels, Milestones Professional Expert User

As someone who has spent over 20 years working in high tech, I can personally tell you that software companies often make it difficult for clients to understand their release schedule and overall product support lifecycle.  Customers are constantly forced to ask their account rep about future release dates and usually have to do extensive searches on the vendor’s website just to find the right product support policy documentation.  It’s obvious that software companies want their clients to use the latest and greatest product…but why isn’t more effort put into making release dates and product support lifecycle information easier to find and comprehend?

Consider the following real world enterprise-class software scenarios:

  • A key banking client needs to know when the latest software patch will be available so they can plan additional stabilization efforts before a late October production freeze.
  • A Fortune 100 energy company using an older version of software needs to know how many remaining days they have until their product support expires. The answer will impact business decisions on whether or not to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars, worth of extended support services.
  • A large insurance company won’t have funding to upgrade a key environment until Q2 2017. Given the timing of this funding, which software version/release does it make sense to plan for?

You might be surprised how many times the above scenarios often go overlooked until the last minute.  And while it’s certainly the client’s responsibility to understand their vendor’s product lifecycle, you can’t blame them for being confused considering they’re often dealing with multiple software companies, each with different policies….

Read the entire article: Creating the ultimate customer-friendly software release schedule

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December 2016 Tips and Tricks

For these and more, view Tips and Tricks for December 2016

Trouble pasting into PowerPoint
I have a 12 page schedule. When I use Copy all pages to PowerPoint, only 5 pages are copied. Then I get an error message: Trouble pasting this schedule into PowerPoint.

Vertical connectors on a multi-page schedule
My schedule has many vertical connectors, connecting dates across pages. When I look at the connectors, it’s often challenging to determine which page they are connected to. Is there anything I can do to make this easier?

Find and replace
I have a schedule that lists tasks and the person responsible for each task. One employee listed on the schedule has been moved to a different project. How can I quickly replace all occurrences of that name with the new employee’s name?

Generate assignment lists
Can I print a limited list of the tasks: e.g., just the tasks assigned to one person for their own short list? If so, how?

Date range override for each page
I created a year-long schedule which starts on 10/1/2015 and ends on 9/31/2016, taking up one full page. How can I include another date range in the same schedule, say for the next year beginning 10/1/2016 and ending 9/31/2017? That is, can the date range for each page be different?

Change symbol date format
My computer is set up for English and with United States settings. However, I want to make the dates on my schedule reflect a date order used by my customers. Instead of mm/dd/yy, I would like to use dd/mm/yy. Is this possible?

For these and more, view Tips and Tricks for December 2016