#223 – Minor Releases

September 18th, 2020

Tiny Ship

This week we shipped v5.18.0 to production. While the bulk of the team is focused on developing our Sprint Poker meeting type, we’re still managing to bring new value to our users and reduce technical debt.

We’ve kept our product release process decoupled from our development process—even when our team was as small as 3 developers. Keeping these activities separated prevents us from “waterfalling” by batching up large changesets before making a release. Releasing more frequently helps us deliver more value consistently to our users, so the product stays fresh and the company feels alive and reduces that we’ve piled up so many changes that the product is difficult to release because of some unforeseen breaking change.

This week’s product release was certainly in the spirit of, “release small, release often.”

What’s in the latest release?

There are 3 features our users will directly benefit from:

1. Users may now revisit Check-In Meetings. Just like Retrospective meetings, users may now navigate to their Timeline to find all their meeting history and enter the completed meeting to see the comments and tasks created within them with their full context

Parabol Timeline Check-In Summary

2. We’ve redesigned the invitation dialog to make the differences between inviting via a sharable link and inviting by email more clear. We received frequent feedback that folks were surprised the team invitation link expired after 24 hours, now we make the expiration times explicit.

Parabol New Team Invitation Dialog

3. The default public Retrospective meeting templates from Parabol have their own, snazzy illustrations.

Parabol Retro Template Picker New Illustration

Other changes

Behind the scenes, we’ve also updated to the latest stable version of Node.js®. Stepping up to this version exposed a few, small things that needed updating. Paying down this “tech debt” is important—it’ll mean less surprise refactoring later.

Metrics

Parabol Friday Ship 223 for 2020-Sep-18 Metrics

The evidence is mounting for a “back to school” rebound following the doldrums of the summer vacation season. User registrations are continuing to chug along at 2% increases WoW. MAU, on the other hand, is increasing more rapidly—nearly 5% this week. We also saw distinct rises in the top of funnel traffic (particularly from our organic search channel) and the number of weekly meetings ran.

This week we…

noted our blog post 5 Effective Retrospective Techniques exceeded 1.0M organic search impressions. The below graph gives a bit of a sense of how long it takes for a content investment to “mature”. It’s also fun to see how b2b content has a weekly rhythm to it:

Parabol 5 Effective Retrospective Content SEO Growth Graph

presented a feature-complete version of our unified task view for code review. Creating UI controls to filter tasks across teams unblocks a number of planned dashboard enhancements. After a few comments are addressed, we’ll be ready to release this feature to production. Below is a short demo demonstrating its features:

Parabol Task User Filter Preview

deployed a version of our new video infrastructure into development. More on this at a future date 😉

continued to debug the finer points of our marketing data collection. One of the ultimate “easier said than done” bits of operating a SaaS is collecting accurate, meaningful metrics. Currently, our white whale is figuring out how to easily attribute server side-events back to a single channel of origin.

posted 7 Product Backlog Tips to Make Work Flow. We discuss using robots to groom the backlog, whiteboards, estimation, and more.

Next week we’ll…

kick off sprint #65.


Have feedback? See something that you like or something you think could be better? Leave a public response here, or write to us.

 

Jordan Husney

Jordan Husney spent 20+ years helping technology serve people. His passion for collaboration, agile development, and remote teams led him to start Parabol, a free online retrospective tool.