We build in three separate environments: development (DEV), QA, and production (PROD). Though there are no customers going to DEV or QA, we treat them as their own product.
DEV is the art canvas. In DEV, we prototype new ideas. Some we kick to the curb. For the ones we keep, we move them into QA.
QA is the clinic. In QA, we test-drive the new release, identify its success metrics, and ensure that it doesn’t break anything from previous releases. If it passes green-light criterion, then we move it to PROD.
PROD is the wild. In PROD, we measure the release against its success metrics, and evaluate how much users enjoy it.
Many companies treat DEV and/or QA as throwaway environments. This is a mistake. Without upkeep, simulation is not at usable level.
A graver mistake is to not have a DEV or QA environment at all.
It takes three great environments to build one great product.
Credit: Kyle Murphy