Slow Down and Stop Deploying Buggy Software

I have a very low tolerance for buggy software. And an even lower tolerance when the customer and technical service that follows it is horrid. 

I'm empathetic to the business pressure to release capabilities and features, reduce technical debt, and improve integrations. Heck, I advise companies that digital transformation requires companies to experiment and deliver faster.

StarCIO's mission is guiding organizations on smarter, faster, safer, and innovative transformations that deliver results. Releasing buggy, broken, or unstable user experiences is not smarter, safer, or innovative. It just frustrates customers.

Buggy Software Kills Customer Experience - Isaac Sacolick

And it doesn't take much these days for customers to get fed up and seek alternatives. 

A CEO's Apology on a Failed Systems Upgrade

Here's an email I received from one e-commerce CEO about a week after an order was delayed

We recently began a systems upgrade with the aim to better serve you through faster shipments, enhanced communications and more reliable tracking. While the new system is already working for some orders, others have been negatively impacted, providing the opposite experience.

That order ended up coming over two weeks late, and I ended up canceling my next one. One month after, the CEO sent this email, and this company is still experiencing delayed shipments. 

And their customer team is feeling the pain. It takes at least three days to respond to an issue, and they only supply canned answers to the issues raised.

This may be buggy software, a poorly implemented systems upgrade, or maybe a new system was introduced. I don't know, but I am certain that better planning and testing were needed.

Trust Me, It's a Bug, Please Report It!

Another one of my key vendors/partners has a history of releasing buggy software. I reported bugs on at least three different occasions over the last six months, and in all three cases, the technical support rep tried convincing me that it was a problem with my PC, OS, or browser. In each case, it took at least three rounds of emails before the rep escalated the issue to a higher support level.

All of the issues were functional and easily found by any team performing manual functional tests or executing automation test scripts. 

The Problem: Faster Deployments and Speed to Market Over Quality Releases

I can't speak to the exact issue with these two products, but I am certain it's a part technical, part process, and part culture. 

What's the answer? For technical teams, please have a read of some of my posts on devops, and continuous testing:

Now, if you're in executive, business, or product management, it's time to be smarter and safer before faster. Customers are stressed out, so don't make it hard for them! Slow down and get testing, deployments, and release management in order!

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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld,, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.